DirecTV Will Pass On Epix

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DirecTV interim CEO Larry Hunter said that the satellite giant would likely pass on carriage of the newest premium channel, Epix, when it launches later this year.

"That's another one that I don't think you'll be seeing us being interested in," Hunter said on a conference call with analysts to discuss second-quarter results.

Partially influencing the satellite giant's decision could be the recent decline in its customer take rates for premium movie channels. On the conference call, chief financial officer Patrick Doyle added that the satellite giant has been seeing an acceleration of customers who are "right-sizing" their programming packages, and many are dropping premium movie channels like HBO, Starz and Showtime. Doyle said that about 90% of DirecTV customers take at least one premium channel and expected that to decline further in the third quarter.

"We think there are enough of them out there already," Doyle said of premium movie channels. "We don't see the value of adding another movie channel."

Epix, a partnership between movie studios Paramount, Lions Gate and MGM, landed its first distribution deal - with Verizon Communications' FiOS TV - last week. 

Comcast and Cablevision, earlier, indicated that they will pass on the service.

The channel, which today announced its first output deal with another studio, Samuel Goldywn Films, is expected to launch officially in October.

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