I saw a Q&A post the other day where someone asked if DirecTV would be adding the EPIX channel anytime soon. If you didn’t know, the EPIX channel lineup – a part of the U-verse service – comprises mostly movies and movie-themed specials, but also airs boxing shows occasionally. These channels are a part of AT&T’s HD channels 1891 through 1894. Subscribers who have their own account names and passwords can use EPIX’s VOD service at Epix.com and via EPIX’s mobile app.
Since purchasing DirecTV last year, AT&T has become a major player in the satellite TV arena. It was assumed that any deal with AT&T carriage would automatically transfer to the DirecTV as well (more on that later). But it doesn’t look like that is the case here. EPIX, meanwhile, is owned by a consortium of MGM, Lionsgate, and Paramount. These three studios backing it allows viewers sooner access to some of the newest premium movies, such as Interstellar.
DirecTV executives have been saying that they have no interest in getting these channels on board, saying they already have a good number of premium movie channels already. While this is true, there are some other factors, which suggest a change in the next few years. The AT&T deal mentioned above, agreed in 2014 to carry the entire four-channel Epic suite.
While the telecom giant didn’t reveal how long the agreement was for, it stands to reason that at the end of it, the company will try and negotiate for carriage on both U-Verse and DirecTV. They have admitted to wanting both services to eventually have the same lineups. Most carriage deals lasting just three years, it is a good bet that DirecTV Choice package will carry EPIX channels before 2018. Or sooner, if AT&T renegotiates the current deal.
Another factor to consider: more TV providers like Net TV services, Sling TV, and Sony’s Play Station Vue have added EPIX over the last few years, and DirecTV wouldn’t want the slight disadvantage of being the only TV service provider without that offering. It is the movie lineups on these channels that will cause a significant difference. The bottom line is that you don’t want to hold your breath, because if EPIX carriage on DirecTV happens, it will take a couple of months at the least.