CBS has pacted with Amazon.com to distribute 2,000 episodes from its library through the online retailer’s Amazon Prime service. The deal is non-exclusive, but it is somewhat surprising, given how long CBS held out before inking a similar deal with Netflix in February.
Agreement brings digitized episodes of “Star Trek” and “Cheers” to Prime customers, as well as more recent series including “The Tudors” and “Medium,” and helps Amazon push customers to Prime. The retailer has been promoting the service to customers for more than five years. Originally a kind of frequent-buyer service that includes free shipping for regular customers, Prime quietly expanded to include access to a part of the company’s digital film catalog via streaming.
Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker reportedly pegged the deal at “over 100 million” based on an 18-month term. The CBS-Netflix deal has been valued at $200 million over two years.
“Our new deal with CBS makes Amazon Prime even better for customers,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a release issued Wednesday. “We’re excited to add thousands of popular CBS programs to our already great selection, all of which stream at no additional cost to Amazon Prime members.”
Beginning this summer, the network will also make CBS shows available to Amazon customers through its Instant Video service (Prime requires subscription; Instant Video is a pay-per-program feature).
Some 5,000 titles are available to Prime customers, while Amazon Instant Video’s library will reach 90,000 films and television shows with the addition of the CBS content.