April 19, 2010 / 6:14 PM / 9 years ago

Epix gains nationwide distribution in Dish deal

* Dish deal makes Epix available to 14 mln more customers

* With deal, Epix will be available to 30 mln U.S. homes

* Epix is joint venture between three Hollywood studios

LOS ANGELES, April 19 (Reuters) - Movie channel Epix said on Monday it signed a carriage agreement with Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) that will give Epix nationwide U.S. distribution for the first time, marking a breakthrough in its efforts to reach more viewers.

The agreement will make Epix, a joint venture between Lions Gate Entertainment Corp LGF.N, Viacom Inc’s VIAb.N Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc, available to 14 million additional customers across the United States.

Epix had previously reached deals with Verizon FiOS, Cox, Charter and Mediacom. The channel has yet to reach deals with the two largest U.S. pay TV services, Comcast and DirecTV.

With the new agreement, Epix said the channel will be available to customers in more than 30 million homes by May.

No terms of Epix’s deal with Dish were disclosed.

Lions Gate, Paramount and MGM launched Epix in reaction to a move by CBS Corp’s (CBS.N) pay television network Showtime to cut fees it paid to show movies.

The three studios parted ways with Showtime when they launched Epix in October 2009, but at the time the movie channel had only one distribution partner, Verizon Communications Inc’s (VZ.N) FiOS TV service. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Derek Caney)

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