Amazon Snags Exclusive Streaming Rights to Downton Abbey in the U.S.

by Sean P. Aune | February 1, 2013

Downton Abbey

Amazon announced today that it will be the exclusive home for Downton Abbey for some time to come.

Chances are if you aren’t hooked on Downton Abbey that you’ve at least heard of it. The BBC series has taken the United States by storm and has led to stellar ratings for PBS. It has also become a big hit for streaming video services as viewers use them to catch up on the episodes and seasons they have missed. Case in point: Downton Abbey is the most streamed series on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

With that in mind, Amazon has made a bold move and struck a deal with PBS to make its fledgling streaming service the exclusive subscription streaming service to host season 3 of the series beginning this June. The deal also covers future seasons and the first two seasons will also become exclusive to Amazon later in the year.

Amazon sure is sinking a lot of money into a service it views as an added value to its Prime customers. With each move they are making it more appealing, and it makes you wonder if they are just trying to get more people to try Prime, or are they very quietly trying to sink Netflix.

Only time will tell.

Prime Instant Video to be the Exclusive Subscription Streaming Home for Carnival/Masterpiece Co-Production “Downton Abbey” on PBS

Subscription streaming of “Downton Abbey” — the most watched TV series of all time on Prime Instant Video — to become exclusive to Amazon

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 1, 2013– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with PBS Distribution that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription home for streaming the Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production “Downton Abbey.” Seasons 1 and 2 of the award-winning series are currently available on Prime Instant Video, and are the most watched TV seasons of all time on the service. BeginningJune 18, 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the exclusive subscription service for streaming the all-new Season 3 of “Downton Abbey”, and later this year, no digital subscription service other than Prime Instant Video will offer any seasons of “Downton Abbey.” Prime Instant Video will continue to be the exclusive subscription home through Season 4 and, if produced, Season 5 of “Downton Abbey.”

“Our Prime customers have spoken—they can’t get enough of the MASTERPIECE CLASSIC series ‘Downton Abbey.’ The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever,” saidBrad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition forAmazon. “Prime Instant Video will soon be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for ‘Downton Abbey.’”

For fans who want to own the originalUKversion now, all three seasons of Downton Abbey are available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray onAmazon.com, and digitally through Amazon Instant Video.

“Downton Abbey” is a Carnival/MASTERPIECE Co-Production and airs onPBSstations nationwide. Produced by WGBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is the longest-running and one of the most popular primetime drama series on television. Since the premiere of “Downton Abbey, Season 1” onJanuary 9, 2011, the critically acclaimed series has gained popularity across a diverse audience and has been honored with nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (DameMaggie Smith). It has also garnered a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries and a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television (DameMaggie Smith), a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, aPGA(Producers’Guild of America) Award and a TCA (Television Critics Association) Award.

Prime Instant Video offers more than 36,000 movies and TV episodes including fan-favorite shows such as “Downton Abbey,” “Fringe,” and “The West Wing” and blockbuster movies including “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” “Rango” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” for Amazon Prime members to stream, commercial free at no additional cost on Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other devices. To sign up for Amazon Prime, visit www.amazon.com/primeinstantvideo.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...