Epix streaming deal for Netflix narrows streaming window
Netflix has officially closed a deal with premium cable channel Epix that will give Netflix exclusive online streaming rights to films from Viacom, MGM, and Lionsgate. The movies won’t show up on Netflix until 90 days after they have premiered on Epix, but it’s better than the years it usually takes, and it adds some serious mojo to the service’s sometimes-anemic Watch Instantly library.
Epix itself has a unique past compared to other premium cable channels. In 2009, Lionsgate, MGM, and Viacom teamed up to show their own recent films in HD before DVD release (the “pay TV window,” so to speak). Epix also created its own online, on-demand service that offered HD streams of the same films, also before DVD release.
Emil Rensing, chief digital office at Epix, told Ars last year that Epix’s online service differed from Netflix because the latter didn’t have access to the same super-recent hit titles, but that has now changed. The deal allows the studios behind Epix to expand their audience to a wider selection of Internet-savvy users while still controlling distribution, and keeping its own subscribers as top priority for the first 90 days of release.