More details are emerging about the new cable channel TV venture dubbed Epix. The new premium cable network backed by content powerhouses Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, will launch a broadband offering of on-demand services (via cable and sat) in May, with a full channel launch slated for October 2009. Mark Greenberg shared details about the new channel at NATPE on Tuesday, but apparently no carriage agreements are yet in place.
The launch of a new premium cabler behind HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, and the Movie Channel in the midst of 2009 economic unease? You have to hand it to Greenberg and team. Although the channel launches with a strong library of pics including Ironman, good ol’ Benjamin Button, and Indiana Jones, there are confirmed reports that the network will pick up at least one pilot for an original series within the 4th quarter. Greenberg is no doubt taking a page from Showtime’s strength in the original series category: the deliciously excellent likes of Weeds, Dexter, and The L Word (which spin-off is in the works).
Apparently, the epix on-demand offering (which sources say might be complicating carriage talks) has already created some initial consumer buzz and interest. After having personally spent 4+ months launching the brand campaign for Disney’s on-demand offering, Moviebeam, a few years ago (remember that one? Alas.) I’d like to believe that time for another sustainable, on-demand premium movie service has come.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this project. There is no-doubt already interest brewing amongst the channel branding sect (who wouldn’t want to tackle this exciting brand brief?).
Best of luck to team Epix-
(Hey Mark, I’ll call you!)