Charter to carry Epix

Will launch the premium entertainment channel in May

NEW YORK -- Epix has reached a carriage deal with another large cable partner, unveiling Thursday that Charter Communications will launch the premium entertainment channel in May.

Financial details weren't disclosed.

Epix, a joint venture of Viacom Inc., MGM and Lionsgate, said through its various distribution partnerships it will be available for consumers in nearly 16 million homes by May.

It has taken Epix time to sign up distribution partners, with some of the biggest companies in the space having expressed doubt about the need for more premium channels.

Charter, which ended the third quarter of 2009 with 4.9 million basic cable subscribers, is its biggest partner behind Cox Communications to-date. It has also reached carriage agreements with Verizon's FiOS TV and small cable operator Mediacom Communications.

Said Epix president Mark Greenberg: "Teaming with a cable operator that has the reach of Charter significantly increases our national footprint and is an important step forward as we bring the EPIX multi-screen experience to the current audience and the next generation of viewers who will be watching entertainment on both television and emerging platforms."

"Video consumption is evolving, and our customers want access to the best movies and entertainment, when they want it and on multiple platforms," said Rich DiGeronimo, Charter's vp of product management.