Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) held talks to let subscribers of the Epix movie channel watch films on its $99 set-top box, according to an executive familiar with the matter.
The sides discussed allowing Apple to stream films to existing Epix subscribers through an app that would be installed on Apple TV, the person said. No talks are currently under way, according to two people, who sought anonymity because the matter is private.
Epix, a joint venture of Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US)’s Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., offers a premium movie channel on pay-TV systems such as Dish Network Corp. (DISH:US) The company already offers an app to subscribers on Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US)’s Xbox 360, through a password- protected process. Epix is available in more than 30 million homes.
Online streaming company Netflix Inc. (NFLX:US) already has a deal to show Epix films 90 days after first airing on the pay-TV channel. Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, in an interview this month, said the deal extends through at least the end of the year.
The deal with Netflix prevents Epix from selling to other online subscription outlets such as Hulu.com, Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said at the time.
Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment, as did Jamie Colunga, a spokeswoman for EPIX HD.
Reuters reported earlier that Apple, based in Cupertino, California, began talks to stream Epix films earlier this year.
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