February 12, 2019
A day after launching Epix Now, a standalone over-the-top video subscription service, MGM Holdings reportedly is seeking a financial partner for the branded multiplatform video distributor.
The corporate parent to MGM Studios paid $1 billion two years ago buying out 81% of Epix it didn’t own from partners Viacom and Lionsgate.
The Information.com, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Epix is looking for a fiscal partner to help it expand original programming development for the $5.99 monthly SVOD service as well as branded pay-TV channels.
The report said MGM chairman Kevin Ulrich is working with investment bank LionTree Advisors with the aim of retaining majority control of Epix.
Last year, Epix bowed eight-episode espionage series, ‘Deep State,” season 2 of “Get Shorty,” boxing competition show, “The Contender,” and unscripted comedy show, “Unprotected Sets.”
Other original shows include “Berlin Station,”“Pennyworth,” a dark telling of the superhero origins of Batman butler Alfred Pennyworth from Warner Bros. and DC Comics, “The Godfather of Harlem,” a 10-episode crime drama starring Forest Whitaker; “Our Lady, LTD,”starring Ben Kingsley, “Slaughterhouse-Five”and “Shook Up,” as well as several other scripted and unscripted shows.
Epix — which represents the bulk of MGM’s media networks segment – generated $108.6 million in third-quarter revenue (ended Sept. 30, 2018), up 5% from revenue of $103 million during the previous-year period. The channel posted pre-tax earnings of $673,000 – down 98% from pre-tax earnings of $43.6 million last year.