joint venture formed by Viacom's Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate finally has a name -- Studio 3 Networks -- and today announced at NATPE '09 that its "next generation home entertainment service" with both broadband delivery and a traditional TV channel (possibly headed to a digital basic lineup near you) will be branded epix. Still most important about the new brand is that due to expiring content deals with Showtime, epix will have exclusive access to Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Films released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008, plus all MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate flicks from the beginning of 2009 on and a release window two months shorter than the 11 months of other pay channels when it launches in the fourth quarter of this year. Still unclear is exactly where we'll be able to enjoy all 17 remastered* James Bond movies, the Indiana Jones series and more in crisp high definition, as Multichannel News caught president Mark Greenberg mentioning epix could find its way to the aforementioned digital tiers to boost satisfaction on HD content, but didn't set any quality expectations for an Internet or VOD experience. Prior to launch, expect VOD Internet access, while afterwards "authenticated" cable subscribers can get access to DVD extra-styled content online. Still, as Download Squad mentioned, first order of business should probably be buying up the epix.com, epix.net or epix.tv domain names since they're already taken.
[Via Multichannel News & Download Squad]