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3 movie studios to launch subscription based VOD web site

Epix.com
MGM, Paramount, and Lionsgate are banding together to form a new TV channel called epix that will show films from each studio as soon as 9 months after the theatrical release. There's just one catch: No cable or satellite companies have agreed to carry the channel just yet.

But here's where things get interesting. The three studios, which are working together under the name Studio 3 Networks, plan to launch a subscription based web site that will stream on-demand movies starting in May. At launch, movies including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Iron Man, Pink Panther 2, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail will be available.

In other words, the new epix web site will be a lot like Hulu, except the films will be more current and viewers will have to pay to watch them. So umm, it won't be that much like Hulu at all. But it does raise an interesting question - if Studio 3 Networks doesn't manage to sign a broadcast carriage, could the group still make money on a subscription based web site? Sure, people are used to getting online video for free, but personally I'd rather pay a nominal monthly fee to watch on-demand movies from a site like epix than pay an arm and a leg to subscribe to a cable channel on top of a monthly cable bill. Or at least, I would if epix had films from more than three studios.

In related news, while looking for any sort of publicity photos of epix, I discovered that epix.com, epix.net, and epix.tv among other web domains are already registered. So it's not clear exactly what the URL of the new page will be.

Tags: epix, movie-studios, movies, tv

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