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Amazon Prime Video Gets 2,500 Hours of Jim Henson Co. Content, With Restrictions

A wealth of Jim Henson Co.’s kid-friendly programming is landing on Amazon’s Prime Video service — but there are several notable exclusions for the U.S. because of other licensing deals.

Beginning Thursday (April 4), Amazon Prime Video will stream 2,500 hours of the Jim Henson Co.’s classic programming on the streaming platform, including popular specials and series. That will mostly be available in 67 different territories, including Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand and the Nordics, but much of the content is not available to U.S. users. The programming is available on a dedicated Amazon landing page for Jim Henson Co. at this link, available to subscribers of Prime or the standalone Amazon Prime Video service.

The new bucket of content encompasses the original five seasons of “Fraggle Rock” — all 96 episodes — as well as “The Storyteller,” “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss” and “Mother Goose Stories.” What’s important to note, however, is that none of those shows are available to Prime Video members in the U.S. because of rights restrictions. For example, the original “Fraggle Rock” seasons are available through HBO in the States.

Eight titles are available in all 68 countries on Prime Video (including the U.S.): “Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series” (13 episodes), based on the original, live-action puppet show; plus specials “Doozer Music,” “Fraggle Songs,” “The Song of the Cloud Forest,” “Living with Dinosaurs,” “Lighthouse Island” and “Monster Maker.”

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Available in all those territories except the U.S. are: the five seasons of “Fraggle Rock”; “The Storyteller,” an anthology series starring John Hurt in the titular role telling European folk tales to his cynical dog; “The Storyteller: Greek Myths,” starring Michael Gambon in the spin-off series; puppet series “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss”; and “Mother Goose Stories,” a live-action puppet series featuring nursery rhymes.

Available on Prime Video with the exception of Canada is “Pajanimals,” a 26-episode series for preschoolers following four characters embarking on adventures of discovery.

The additional content on Amazon Prime Video comes after Jim Henson Co. last month released sci-fi series “Farscape” — covering all four seasons with 88 episodes plus the mini-series finale — on the platform.

Jim Henson Co. is distributing its library programming on Amazon’s video service through Prime Video Direct, the ecommerce giant’s self-distribution program.

As of April 1, Amazon changed the payment structure for Prime Video Direct to reward the best-performing content with higher royalty rates while reducing them for less-popular titles. The new rates will range between 4 and 10 cents per hour streamed in the U.S. on Prime Video, based on a calculation of the relative “customer engagement ranking” score for each title. Previously, Amazon paid Prime Video Direct content partners opting for Prime Video distribution a base rate of 6 cents per hour.

Initially, when Amazon first launched the program in 2016, it offered content suppliers flat-rate royalties of 15 cents per hour of video streamed in the U.S. (and 6 cents in other territories) for content in Prime Video.

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