Amazon Awarded 'Downton' Rights


Swiping a move from Netflix, Amazon has a deal for sole rights to the PBS hit series “Downton Abbey” for an online subscription service. The move comes as Netflix and others are increasingly focusing on offering exclusive content.

Netflix has offered season one of “Downton,” but all three seasons will move solely to Amazon Prime Instant Video later this year. Season three, currently on PBS, starts there in June, while Amazon has exclusive rights to season four and a possible season five.

Amazon says season one and two are the “most watched TV seasons” ever on its service. The company’s deal is with PBS Distribution. An arm of NBCUniversal is one of the show's producers.

Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus are becoming more fierce competitors in the online subscription video on demand arena for TV series.

Netflix launched 13-episode original production “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey on Friday. Netflix has exclusive deals to stream AMC hits “Mad Men” and “Walking Dead.” It recently made a deal with Disney, too.

Netflix has predicted it will come close to 29 million subscribers by April.



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