Digital Expansion: Amazon Streams CBS

by , Jul 20, 2011, 4:19 PM
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Keeping with TV networks' efforts to spread around its content to different digital video distributors, CBS Corp. and Amazon.com today announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement.

The deal will allow Amazon Prime customers to stream an additional 2,000 episodes of CBS TV shows -- now totaling 8,000 TV episodes and movies. Terms of the CBS-Amazon deal were not disclosed.

Some 18 shows from CBS' library are part of the Amazon agreement. This includes: "The Tudors," which aired on Showtime; CBS' "Numb3rs" and "Medium"; the complete Star Trek franchise; and "Frasier" and "Cheers," both of which aired on NBC. 

In February, CBS also made similar library deal with Netflix under a two-year pact. Reports suggest that deal to be worth $200 million.

Recently, Netflix added to its coffers with a renewal for nonexclusive TV and theatrical movie content from NBC Universal. One analyst suggested that deal gives NBC $300 million per year from Netflix -- a significant rise from $25 million per year it had been getting from the digital video service.

In December 2010, Netflix inked a one-year deal with Walt Disney and ABC valued at around $150 million to $200 million. While that deal included library product, it also included more recent episodes of shows such as ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Brothers & Sisters."

"Amazon has created one of the most popular consumer marketplaces in the world, and we are very pleased to make these titles available to their Instant Video and Prime customers," stated Leslie Moonves, president/CEO for CBS Corp. "This new agreement represents another meaningful way for us to realize incremental value for CBS' content."

Amazon Instant Video is a streaming video service with 90,000 movies and television shows available to purchase or rent. This service includes commercials; with individual shows priced as low as $1.99 an episode. Amazon Prime, a $79-a-year service, is commercial-free.

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