Epix, FiOS TV Ink First Deal

Epix, the premium TV service that is a joint venture between Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, has reached its first carriage deal with Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV.

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman announced the deal in his company’s earnings call Tuesday morning.

He said a detailed announcement will come later in the day and promised more distribution deals “in the near future.”

He reiterated that Epix will launch in October.

The Wall Street Journal had reported early Tuesday that FiOS was getting close to a carriage deal.

Dauman lauded FiOS for its “significant presence” in such key markets as New York, LA and Washington DC.

He said the deal gives Verizon a lot of flexibility to offer Epix a la carte and in bundles with its broadband offers. The two firms also plan to create a mobile Epix offer that they can market to Verizon’s VCast subscribers, he said.

Dauman also said Viacom is “about done with our advertising upfront.” He said he is happy with volume and ad prices, but didn’t immediately provide further details.

Management said ad trends strengthened late in the second quarter, but executives wouldn’t say if the current third quarter is seeing a continuation of these trends. The slow-moving upfront has affected visibility, and the quarter has just started, Dauman said.

Nielsen Business Media