A Viacom-led alliance of Hollywood studios says that by year's end it will launch a website where Internet users can view exclusive films or television shows on demand.
Viacom's joint venture dubbed Studio 3 Networks said the "next-generation entertainment service" will be called epix and offer productions from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, United Artists, and Lionsgate films.
"With epix, we are creating an entirely new category of entertainment service for consumers that is unlike anything that currently exists," said Studio 3 president Mark Greenberg.
"Epix is the first brand to hold exclusive exhibition rights to movie content that can be delivered anywhere, anytime."
Films available at launch will include the recent Brad Pitt hit "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" along with "Iron Man" and a "Pink Panther" sequel starring Steve Martin.
Directors' notes, outtakes, audition clips and other extras will accompany online films. The online service is to kick-off with a library of more than 15,000 works as well as offer original television programming.
"Epix is a powerful entertainment service for a new generation of Americans," Greenberg said when the news was announced Tuesday at a television conference in Las Vegas.
"Fueled by a team that has created programming for specific target groups, including Nickelodeon and MTV, we are bringing a unique understanding of the way Americans want to watch and interact with entertainment today."
Those involved in the venture hoped to also arrange for epix to extend to a television or cable channel.