Epix inks Cox carriage deal

Rookie cable net is talking with other operators also

Fledgling pay cabler Epix has inked a carriage deal with Cox Communications, the nation’s third-largest cable operator.

Deal will make the channel — jointly owned by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM — available to Cox’s 5.2 million cable subscribers starting in April. Pact is an important milestone for Epix, which has had an uphill climb in gaining carriage with major cable operators. Epix has been available only on Verizon’s Fios telco TV service, which has about 2.5 million subs, since its bow on Oct. 30.

This is a long-term venture,” said Lionsgate co-chair and CEO Jon Feltheimer. “We’ve been very patient, and slow but steady wins the race.”

Epix is understood to be in talks with other cablers and satcaster Dish Network. More carriage deals are expected by the end of the month, Feltheimer said.

Epix is stocked with pics from its partner companies, with upcoming titles including “Paranormal Activity,” “Star Trek,” “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra” and Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” and “I Can Do Bad All by Myself.” The strength of the titles and Epix’s emphasis on making titles available for on-demand viewing via broadband was a draw for Cox.

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