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Amazon Secures ‘Downton Abbey’ Videos

1 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ecommerce behemoth steals a page from Netflix playbook in securing exclusive access to a coveted series.

Amazon Feb. 1 said it has signed a deal with PBS Distribution giving Amazon Prime Instant Video subscription VOD service exclusive access to past and future episodes of popular British Masterpiece Classic TV series “Downton Abbey.”

Beginning June 18, Prime Instant Video will be the exclusive streaming service for Season 3 of “Downton Abbey”, and later this year, no SVOD other than Prime Instant Video will offer any seasons of “Downton Abbey,” according to Amazon. Prime Instant Video will continue to be the sole SVOD home through Season 4 and, if produced, Season 5 of the award-winning show.

Seasons 1 and 2 of “Downton Abbey” are currently available on Prime Instant Video, and are the most watched TV seasons of all time on the service, according to Amazon. Season 3 currently airs on PBS through Feb. 17. Season 4 airs in the U.K. in the fall, and in the U.S. next year.

The original UK version of the series can purchase all three seasons on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Amazon, and digitally through Amazon Instant Video.

Since the premiere of “Downton Abbey” on Jan. 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 (Dame Maggie 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 (Dame Maggie Smith), a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, a PGA (Producers’ Guild of America) Award and a TCA (Television Critics Association) Award.

“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,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon, in a statement.

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