Q. I’m a DIRECTV subscriber and I want to watch the Epix channel so I can watch the new Get Shorty (pictured above) season. But I can’t find Epix in my lineup! Where is it? And if it’s not there, when the heck will DIRECTV have it? — Brian, Los Angeles.
Brian, your eyes do not deceive you. The Epix channel is not in your DIRECTV lineup because DIRECTV does not carry the Epix channel.
In fact, it never has since Epix’s launch in 2009.
Over the years, DIRECTV executives have said they have little or no interest in Epix, adding that they feel they already carry a sufficient number of premium movie channels.
However, there is something that could change that.
AT&T, which now owns DIRECTV, has Epix in its U-verse TV service, which also carries the MGM HD channel.
Why is that significant?
Both Epix and MGM HD are owned by MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), and U-verse’s carriage contract with MGM HD is expiring next month. That means AT&T will need to negotiate a new deal for MGM HD or it could lose it.
The discussions could act as a trigger to reopen talks for adding Epix to DIRECTV. When companies convene to discuss carriage deals, they usually use the occasion to examine all aspects of their partnership. So Epix and DIRECTV could become a hot topic in the negotiations.
Before you scoff, Comcast two months ago dropped the MGM HD channel and replaced it with Epix. It’s quite possible AT&T will decide to do the same, switching MGM for Epix, which is a more popular channel due to its expanding lineup of original programming. (Get Shorty, Berlin Station).
Of course, it’s also possible that AT&T will simply allow MGM’s contract to expire, and drop the channel in the next several weeks without adding Epix.
Brian, I will keep my eyes on this development, and will report back here if anything changes.
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