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Charter Communications picks up Epix cable channel

February 4, 2010 | 10:13 am

The upstart pay-TV service Epix just picked up another outlet: Charter Communications.

The cable operator will offer the movie channel, a venture formed by Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Lionsgate, to its 16 million subscribers in May.

Epix has struggled to secure distribution with major cable and satellite TV operators, which were hesitant to add another pricey movie channel during a recession. When the service launched in October, it was carried only on Verizon's Fios service. It has since signed deals with Mediacom and Cox Communications, which will begin to offer the movie service this spring.

However, Epix still does not have distribution deals with Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the nation's two largest operators who combined reach almost 35 million homes. It also does not have a deal yet with DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite distributor.

-- Dawn Chmielewski