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British Telco BT Adding Amazon Prime to its TV Service

BT TV customers in the U.K. will soon be able to binge “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” and “The Man in the High Castle.” The telco will incorporate access to Amazon Prime Video into its TV service. It already offers access to Netflix, and will also add Sky’s streaming service Now TV from 2019.

The telco, which is shedding thousands of jobs in the U.K., has made a major move into TV, shelling out billions for Premiere League and Champions League soccer rights, but the service has struggled to gain real traction in a competitive market. Its subs base stands at about 1.8 million and growth has stalled.

The Amazon move means that BT customers paying for all of the services via BT TV will be able to watch premium sports, film, and TV programming from BT, Sky, Netflix, and Amazon via one one settop box. Sky integrated Netflix last year, and Virgin Media in the U.K. had already done so. BT said it wants to offer unrivaled choice through a “super aggregator TV strategy.”

“BT will be the first major UK TV platform to offer Prime Video through its set-top boxes, allowing Prime Members to access thousands of TV episodes and movies, including award-winning Prime Originals and exclusive series like ‘The Grand Tour,’ ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ ‘Lucifer,’ and ‘Vikings,’” BT said.

It unveiled the Amazon deal as part of a broader new consumer strategy. “BT will be the first UK telco to offer Amazon Prime video to its customers,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at CCS Insight. “We believe that this will turn around its fortunes given that BT TV has recorded losses for the last two quarters and subscriber growth over the last couple of years has been lackluster.”

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