Amazon Prime Takes Page From '24' DVD Playbook1 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Amazon gets first SVOD rights to former Fox counterterrorism thriller ‘24’ in advance of the May 5 launch of miniseries ’24: Live Another Day’
Amazon Prime Instant Video April 1 said it will begin exclusively streaming all 192 episodes of ex-Fox TV political thriller “24,” starring Kiefer Sutherland as agent Jack Bauer.
The license agreement with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution includes 24: Redemption, a 2008 TV movie based on the series, as well as subscription streaming rights (later this year) to 24: Live Another Day, a new 12-episode miniseries, which bows May 5 on Fox.
Live Another Day returns the real-time narrative format of the original show, complete with split screens and multiple storylines. In addition to Sutherland returning as Bauer, the London-based series features Benjamin Bratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Kim Raver, William Devane, Tate Donovan and Michelle Fairley.
The deal marks the first time “24” has been available on SVOD. The series has been available via packaged media, transactional VOD and disc rentals, including Netflix.
During its initial run, “24” grew its audience for the new season and hardcore followers through the annual release of DVD boxed sets for each of the shows’ eight seasons — an industry novelty at the time. In addition to each episode, the sets (which enabled some of the first binge-watching) included behind-the-scenes material, cast interviews and special video features.
The boxed sets were so popular, the retail strategy helped usher in home entertainment’s lucrative packaged-media sellthrough era. Indeed, the first season of “24” on DVD (2002) outsold The Lord of the Rings in the United Kingdom, the first time a non-theatrical release topped the U.K. packaged-media sales charts.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released 24: The Complete Series on DVD in 2010.
Amazon Prime aims to do the same for Live Another Day via streaming.
“'24' has been extremely popular with Amazon customers over the years,” Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon, said in a statement. “Whether they are hardcore Jack Bauer fans or just discovering the series for the first time, Prime members are going to love catching up on the previous seasons of ‘24’ as well as 24: Live Another Day.”