Amazon Steals Downton Abbey From Netflix
Washington, D.C. (February 2, 2013) -
Amazon yesterday stole some of the thunder from Netflix's launch
of its original show, House of Cards, by announcing that it had
plucked away the streaming rights to the British period drama,
The etailer says Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers can now
watch seasons one and two of the award-winning series. And
beginning June 18, 2013, Amazon Prime will be the exclusive
streaming home of Downton Abbey's third season, which is now
airing on PBS.
Later this year, Amazon said, no other "digital subscription
service other than Prime Instant Video will offer any seasons of
Downton Abbey." That includes the current season three, season
four and, if produced, season five.
Netflix still has season one of Downton Abbey in its streaming
library, but it will be forced to drop it later this year due to
the new Amazon deal.
Amazon says it now has more than 36,000 movies and TV show
episodes on Amazon Prime, which is still far fewer than Netflix.
But the theft of a popular show like Downton Abbey indicates
that Amazon is serious about upping its challenge to Netflix in
the streaming category.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the premiere episode of
Downton Abbey's third season recently drew nearly eight million
viewers, which is four times the average rating for a PBS
Amazon Prime customers must pay $79 a year to subscribe; the
subscription also includes free two-day shipping and some other
perks. Netflix charges $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming.
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