Amazon.com will offer all three seasons of cult TV favorite “Veronica Mars” under a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution that grants the e-retailer exclusive subscription-video rights.
Beginning Thursday, members of Amazon’s Prime free-shipping and video-streaming service can watch the three seasons of the series — a total of 64 episodes — starring Kristen Bell as a high-school and then college private investigator. The Internet retailer cut the deal ahead of the March 14 theatrical debut of the “Veronica Mars” movie, a project that raised $5.7 million from 91,585 fans on Kickstarter.
“We are thrilled to have Prime Instant Video as a digital distribution outlet for the ‘Veronica Mars’ TV series,” said Ken Werner, prexy of Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution. “Digital distribution platforms such as Amazon’s and licensing deals such as this allow the consumer great opportunities whether they’re die-hard fans who just can’t get enough or a new consumer turned fan who has discovered a fabulous show with dozens of new episodes.”
“Veronica Mars,” created by screenwriter Rob Thomas, debuted in 2004 on the now-defunct UPN network, with the third and final season airing from 2006-07 on the CW network. Show is set in the fictional town of Neptune, Calif., and follows the adventures of Bell’s title teen character, who moonlights as a PI under the tutelage of her detective father.
Amazon has been aggressively challenging Netflix, the top Internet video-subscription provider, by investing in a series of exclusive content deals. Like Netflix, Amazon also is producing original series and last November debuted its first entries — comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas.”
Other exclusive content on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video includes: PBS series “Downton Abbey” and “Mr. Selfridge”; CBS’s “Under the Dome” and this summer’s “Extant”; FX’s “Justified”; TNT’s “Falling Skies”; and History’s “Vikings.” In addition, Amazon has exclusive subscription VOD rights to several kids’ shows from Viacom’s Nickelodeon including “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer.”
The Prime Instant Video service is available to members of Prime, the $79-per-year program that offers free two-day shipping on select items, across an assortment of devices including Roku players, iPads, Kindle Fire tablets, videogame consoles and computers. The company had more than 20 million Prime members at the end of 2013, and is banking on video to help grow that number.