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Time Warner Cable gives thumbs down to Epix movie channel

September 15, 2010 | 10:42 am

If you are a Time Warner Cable subscriber eager to get Epix, the pay-TV channel from Viacom, Lions Gate and MGM, you may be in for a long wait.

Time Warner Cable Chief Financial Officer Rob Marcus said Epix didn't do itself any favors when it struck a deal with Netflix that made movies from the pay channel's parent studios available for Internet streaming just 90 days after their debut on Epix.

Speaking at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Marcus said that Epix's deal with Netflix devalued the channel.

When Epix struck its deal with Netflix last month, it hoped that a three-month window between when a movie appeared on the pay cable channel and when it was available for streaming would placate distributors such as Time Warner Cable.

"I think they will understand we have created a window of opportunity for them," Epix Chief Executive Mark Greenberg said at the time. 

Asked by Merrill Lynch/Bank of America media analyst  Jessica Reif if in fact the Netflix deal with Epix would make his company more likely to sign a distribution deal, Marcus cracked, "I'm not sure I understand the logic flow."

Epix has struggled to line up distributors and currently has a little more than 4 million subscribers through carriers that include Verizon's FiOS, Dish Network and Cox Cable. It has yet to sign with several of the biggest TV providersm such as Comcast and DirecTV and, obviously, Time Warner Cable.

-- Joe Flint

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