Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) has inked a deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution for access to five TV series via its Amazon Prime Instant Video subscription streaming service in the U.K. and Germany.
The new partnership will allow users to view TV shows on-demand after their U.K. television debuts. The service will officially launch in the U.K. on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The deal comes as Amazon increases its investment in first-run rights and original programming in order to better compete with streaming services Netflix and Hulu. In the U.K., Blinkbox, owned by retail giant Tesco, is also a leader in the streaming marketplace. Amazon has recently rebranded its former LoveFilm Instant online brand as Amazon Prime Instant Video to resonate more strongly with its consumers. LoveFilm retains its brand name for its original by-mail disc rental service with about 2 million subscribers.
This partnership with Warner Bros. comes on the heels of rumors that surfaced in January that Amazon had a new TV-streaming deal in the works. So far, Amazon has refuted those reports, but it wouldn't be surprising if more TV-streaming deals are in Amazon's future. Such a move would add live television channels to the on-demand video service already offered by the company's Amazon Prime service and would compete with cable or satellite television service providers.
-See this Hollywood Reporter article
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