Amazon Boosts Viacom TV Pact, After Shows Roll Off Netflix
Dora is heading into the Amazon.
Viacom and Amazon cut an expanded multiyear, multinational digital video licensing agreement — giving the Internet retailer access to hundreds of Nickelodeon and MTV shows just a few weeks after the Viacom content dropped off Netflix.
At this point, Viacom is supplying Netflix only movies from the Epix service, the joint venture with MGM and Lionsgate; Paramount has a separate output deal with Netflix. Netflix has noted that as the Viacom titles have rolled off, it is adding content from Walt Disney Co. under a multiyear pact.
Terms of the new Amazon-Viacom deal were not disclosed. The deal, which covers video available to subscribers of the Prime free-shipping program, includes a subset of exclusive TV shows unavailable via any other digital video subscription service, including kids’ programming such as “Bubble Guppies,” “The Backyardigans,” “Team Umizoomi,” “Blue’s Clues” and “Victorious,” along with MTV’s “Awkward” and Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0″ and “Workaholics.”
Prime members also will have access to future episodes of “Dora the Explorer,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Fairly Odd Parents” and ”Fresh Beat Band.” LoveFilm customers in the U.K. and Germany will get some of those shows later this summer.
“Kids shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s VP of digital video and music. “And this expanded deal will now bring customers the largest subscription selection of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. TV shows online, anywhere.”
Viacom topper Philippe Dauman commented, “Amazon has created a unique, brand-friendly environment for streaming entertainment and consumer products and we are excited to work with Amazon to bring customers shows they love.”
Also under the companies’ deal, certain shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. will be available in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a service that provides books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows on the Amazon tablets.
Still, the Viacom agreement with Amazon does not preclude the media conglom from selling other content to Netflix that is not exclusively carried by Amazon. According to an industry exec with knowledge of the situation, Viacom remains in talks with Netflix about a new deal for TV shows while the company also continues to have licensing deals with Netflix in international markets.
Amazon’s Prime Instant Video now offers 41,000-plus movies and TV episodes. As previously announced, later this month Prime Instant Video will exclusively offer PBS’s “Downton Abbey” and CBS’s “Under the Dome,” with each episode of the latter added four days after initial broadcast. Amazon also last month inked an expanded pact with NBCUniversal, which includes exclusive streaming rights to five drama series from NBC, USA Network and Syfy for four years.
In addition, Amazon last week greenlit its first original series, to be available starting later this year on the retailer’s Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm services. The group of five shows are comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas,” along with kids’ shows “Annebots,” “Creative Galaxy” and “Tumbleaf.”
Viacom, for its part, is expanding its TV Everywhere push to try to preserve its existing cable distribution deals. Nick, for example, has released apps that provide full-length episodes, plus games and other digital content, on iPad and iPhone and expects to launch a version for Microsoft Xbox 360 next month.