Amazon adds live TV channels to UK Prime Video offer | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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Making a step change from just battling with Netflix in the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) arena to targeting pay-TV giants, online video supplier Amazon is now offering linear television to its UK bundle.
amazon 18 OctFor an extra fee, customers will now be able to subscribe to channels individually without paying for a bundle.

The offer comprises more than 40 subscription TV channels on an on-demand and live basis.These include Discovery’s premium factual entertainment series; Eurosport Player’s live sport including all matches of the upcoming French Open Tennis; ITV’s ad-free catch up service Hub+; Amazon’s own Bollywood channel, Heera; hayu, MUBI, BFI Player, MGM, Hopster and Shudder.

Discovery Channel  will be available at £4.99 a month while the pan-European sports channel will cost £6.99. This will be on top of an annual Amazon Prime membership of £79. ITV is reported to be offering an ad-free version of its streaming service and access to its free channels for a monthly fee of £3.99.

The move marks an extension of Amazon’s live TV activities. In April 2017, it gained the exclusive rights from the NFL to deliver a live over-the-top (OTT) digital stream of Thursday Night Football to a global audience across devices during the 2017 season, and has also offered content from HBO and Showtime. The latter two though are available exclusively from Sky in the UK.

“This is a starting point,” said Alex Green, managing director of Amazon Video.  “We're offering linear TV channels where it makes sense. We have a good spread of big partners and I'm sure that will only grow. The core of the experience on Prime Video is on-demand streaming, and that will still be the core of the experience.”

The move was described as highly disruptive by Paolo Pescatore, director, multi-play and media at CCS Insight. “[This] threatens Sky’s dominance in the pay-TV market both in the UK and Germany. Beyond free-to-air services, the addition of Discovery’s channels is hugely significant. This is the first time that its channels have been made available outside of the Sky universe and out of a bundle. In our opinion, this will force many households to think twice about their pay-TV subscription and cut the cord as we’ve seen in the US. Especially if Amazon will add more live TV such as sports in the future.”
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