Tuned In

A New Movie Channel: Genius Move, or Epix Fail?

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I had forgotten that the new cable movie channel from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate was coming, but it still is, and it reportedly now has a name: Epix. But the New York Times reports that it’s having a hard time finding a cable distributor. 

How could that possibly be? Could it have anything to do with the fact that there is not a single subscriber in the cableverse who actually wants another movie channel? That you can now get movies on demand, from Netflix, from Amazon, from iTunes, on your iPod, on your computer—that in fact it may now be more difficult to avoid movies than to get them? That the single common characteristic of most major cable “movie” channels—HBO, Showtime, Starz, AMC, IFC, Sundance—is that they have wisely decided to focus on original programming to generate viewership? (Epix says it will do original series as well, but does not seem to have laid out much in the way of specific plans.)

I could maybe see an audience for another movie channel if, like Turner Classic Movies, it served a specific niche, but I have a hard time imagining now what that niche would be. Of course, I watch TV for a living and thus don’t have as much time as I otherwise would to watch movie-on-video anyway, but you tell me: does anyone out there subscribe to movie channels for the movies?