Two somewhat maverick enterprises are combining forces to address the over-the-top and TV Everywhere opportunity. The companies are Dish Network, which announced its “Best of Live TV” OTT offering for its Sling TV platform at the beginning of this year, and EPIX, a joint venture of Viacom, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios. A new agreement between Dish’s Sling TV subsidiary and EPIX, announced today, calls for EPIX movie channels and video on demand offerings to be available as an extra-cost offering for customers using the Sling offering.
EPIX, launched in October 2009, says it was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online as well as the first premium network to launch on Chromecast, Xbox 360, PlayStation, iOS, Android tablets, Windows 8.1 and Roku players.
“From the very creation of EPIX, we have sought to capitalize on new technology to reach people with our movies where they want them, when they want them and how they want them,” said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX, in a press release. “This is another exciting step forward with a great partner in that effort.”
The Sling TV/ EPIX Deal
Through the agreement, Sling TV will gain four EPIX channels – EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3 and EPIX Drive-In – along with 2,000 on-demand movie and entertainment titles. According to today’s release, customers will be able to see some of the “newest movies” such as “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” The launch date and pricing for the new offering were not disclosed but today’s release says that information will be announced in “the coming weeks.”
The basic Sling TV “Best of Live TV” OTT offering launched to all consumers this week at a price of $20 monthly and does not require a contract. The lineup has 12 popular cable channels – including ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, CNN and others.
Several add-on packages – “Sports Extra,” “Kids Extra” and “News & Info Extra” — are available for five dollars monthly. Sling TV customers also have access to short-form content from Maker Studios.
“Customers can now watch live TV on the devices they already use to watch video — TVs, tablets, computers and smartphones,” said Sling TV about the OTT offering earlier this month.
Sling TV already works, or will soon, on Roku players and TVs, iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The company plans to add support for Google’s Nexus player, Xbox One and smart TVs from Samsung and LG in “the coming months.”