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Flix Moves Into SVOD Territory

4/03/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Showtime Networks Inc. is launching Flix On Demand — its third subscription video-on-demand service — which will carry 100 hours of programming each month from the network’s library.

The service joins Showtime On Demand, now in four million homes, and The Movie Channel On Demand, with 2 million subscribers, according to Showtime officials. The company said Comcast Corp. has committed to launching the service later this year.

Flix On Demand will be available sometime later this quarter.

“We’re excited about this,” said Showtime executive vice president Mark Greenberg. “It is a fabulous way for the library to get more access to consumers.”

The deal with Comcast, which is scouring for more VOD content, gives the service a big boost. “We are committed to launching across the MSO, and they are very committed to delivering more on-demand content,” Greenberg said.

Flix will carry about 75 movies a month, divided into four categories: All Flix Movies; Flix by Genre (action, comedy, drama and thriller); Flix by Decade (1950s-60s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s); and Flix Picks.

Titles, from studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Showtime sister company Paramount Pictures, include: The Madness of King George, Mississippi Burning, Glory, Bad Influence, Husbands and Wives and Foxy Brown.

“SVOD is a really strong consumer proposition,” Greenberg said. “It fits what cable has done well and that’s packaging. We have seen great success with Showtime and The Movie Channel. It’s the logical continuation.”

Greenberg said Showtime has seen retention improve 8% to 10% in some markets after SVOD launches.

“We’re definitely seeing more stickiness to the brand,” he said.

September