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Report: Amazon Eyeing Live TV Internet Service

Anonymous insiders say Amazon is looking into licensing live television content for delivery over the Internet.
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jan 22, 2014

A new report suggests Amazon is interested in offering live television over the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal cites insiders familiar with Amazon's plans who say the company is negotiating with three unnamed media interests for the rights to distribute their content.

These would be the same channels satellite and cable providers offer now, just bundled for online delivery much like Amazon's stable of on-demand television and movies.

That existing media is sent out via Amazon's Prime service, but it’s not clear if this television initiative would become part of the Prime package.

It's also not clear what a service like this would cost, for either Amazon or end users. Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman says Amazon should expect to pay up.

"Pricing will be very important; they probably won't cut deals that are below what they already have with pay TV, number one. And number two, they'll probably say 'we all have to be on board.'"

The news comes as other players are eyeing TV's turf. Companies like Sony and most recently Verizon have indicated an interest in the live television market.

Verizon announced plans to buy Intel's media division Tuesday. The acquisition will give it access to OnCue, a set-top box through which users can browse television channels via an Internet connection. (Via The New York Times)

Insiders say Amazon's TV discussions are still in the early stages. Amazon, for its part, issued a statement denying any imminent attempt on the market.

"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." (Via Variety)