EPIX Deal with Hulu Ends After 6.5 Years; Hulu Loses Paramount, MGM Films
One of the biggest contributors to Hulu’s film library is no longer part of the service.
The Streamable has confirmed that Hulu’s deal with EPIX to carry Paramount and MGM movies ended last Wednesday, March 23. The 2015 agreement allowed Hulu access to any movies from Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate, and a number of other studios. The EPIX library on Hulu contained a few hundred movies from MGM and Paramount, which means that Hulu’s selection of films just got a whole lot smaller.
EPIX was founded in 2008 as a joint venture between MGM, Lionsgate, and Paramount Pictures, however, the latter two eventually dropped their stake in the service.
EPIX is still Paramount’s pay-one holder for its movies after theaters, but in June 2021 reached a deal with Paramount+ for non-exclusive rights to EPIX’s exhaustive library, reaching over 2,500 titles for the then-fledgling streamer. This agreement also allowed some movies to stream on Paramount+ just 45 days after they were released in theaters.
At Paramount's 2022 Investor Day the company announced that starting with their 2024 slate, all Paramount Pictures films would go exclusively to Paramount+.
As companies have tried to prop up their own streaming services, this isn’t the first set of content that has left Hulu in recent years.
Last year, Discovery removed their content from Hulu’s SVOD plan in favor of their own discovery+ service. In March, it was confirmed that NBCUniversal would move most of their new shows to Peacock starting in the fall.
Before their deal with Hulu, EPIX had previously had a deal with Netflix. When that agreement ended, films such as “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “World War Z,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” “Robocop,” “Interstellar,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “Selma,” “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” shifted over from Netflix to Hulu.
While this move certainly changes things for Hulu, things may be changing for EPIX as well, following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM.
Since MGM and Amazon completed their merger earlier this month, the question arises as to what Amazon will do with EPIX. Industry insiders have previously said that they doubt Amazon will want to run a single linear cable channel and could potentially turn EPIX into a channel for Prime Video content and shutter the streaming service.
So if Amazon ever decides to close EPIX, and preexisting deals don’t carry over to Amazon Prime Video (there has been no sign of this happening), Paramount+ would instantaneously become Paramount Pictures’ new pay-one holder, and Prime Video would eventually become MGM’s new pay-one holder.
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