×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Denies It Has Plans to Create an Over-the-Top Pay-TV Service

Internet retailer responds to Wall Street Journal report that Amazon has approached TV networks about licensing channels

Amazon.com denied a report that it was seeking to license TV channels to launch a broadband-delivered television service.

The e-commerce colossus has approached at least three unidentified entertainment companies about licensing TV channels for an over-the-top video service, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.

But an Amazon rep said Tuesday that the company has no such plans. “We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” Amazon VP of public relations Drew Herdener wrote in an email.

So far, no virtual pay-TV service has launched in the U.S. — despite intense interest around the potential for such a service, designed to steal share from incumbent players.

Intel on Tuesday announced an agreement to sell its broadband-based television unit to Verizon Communications in a deal worth around $200 million, according to sources. Verizon says the acquisition of Intel Media — which never launched the service — will let it accelerate development of over-the-top services.

Sony, meanwhile, said this month at the 2014 International CES that it intends to launch a test of an Internet TV service in 2014. Others reported to be interested in the concept include Google and Apple.

One hurdle for such “virtual cable TV” services: A federal appeals court struck down the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules last week, which has led to speculation that Internet service providers will attempt to extract higher fees from companies like Netflix that consume significant amounts of bandwidth.

Amazon could “massively disrupt the TV ecosystem” with a service that could be run at essentially zero margin, functioning as a loss-leader to drive users toward online purchases, Janney Capital Markets analysts Tony Wible and Murali Sankar speculated in a research note last week. Amazon’s Prime $79-per-year free-shipping membership program provides unlimited access to streaming video — including original series from Amazon Studios — as a value-added offer to encourage shoppers to buy more products.

More Digital

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

  • 'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo

    'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo Switch

    “Darkwood” is the sort of game you might not expect to find on the Nintendo Switch: It’s dark, violent, and immensely unsettling. But the top-down survival horror title is also an excellent fit for the platform, the sort of evocative experience that a player can methodically pick at in short stints, or sink into for [...]

  • MLB All-Star Game

    T-Mobile’s MLB.tv Subscription Giveaway Available Now

    T-Mobile is once again giving its customers free access to MLB.tv, Major League Baseball’s streaming service. The telco began giving away access to the streaming service Tuesday; anyone interested in signing up has until April 1 to do so. MLB.tv allows subscribers to stream regular season games on mobile and TV connected devices, and is [...]

  • The Federal Trade Commission building in

    FTC to Examine Privacy Practices of Major Internet Providers

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission said it is launching an examination of the privacy practices of major internet providers including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to study how they use consumer information. Capitol Hill lawmakers have been giving added scrutiny to the tech industry’s use of consumer data for more than a year, but much [...]

  • Jessica Rodriguez Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Univision's Jessica Rodriguez on Shaking Up a Traditional TV Brand

    With new leadership in place at Univision, the network is evolving in ways its fast-growing Hispanic audience in the U.S. might find surprising. Look no further than the broadcaster’s primetime schedule, according to Jessica Rodriguez, CMO of Univision Communications and president/COO of Univision Networks, who relied on audience research to shake up traditional notions of [...]

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

  • How Will Apple TV+ Impact Netflix?

    How Will Apple TV+ Shake Up Netflix? Analysts Are Split

    Is Apple’s star-fueled streaming service a “Netflix killer” — or just another incremental challenger chasing the market leader? Wall Street analysts don’t agree on whether Apple TV+ will put a big dent in Netflix’s subscriber momentum with the debut of its premium subscription VOD service later this year. At its splashy unveiling Monday, Apple trotted [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content