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Amazon in talks over online pay TV service

Amazon Instant VideoAmazon has reportedly approached a number of large entertainment companies over plans to license live linear TV channels for a new online pay TV service. 

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Amazon is in early-stage discussions with media companies, and has approached “at least three big media conglomerates” looking to secure rights to distribute their channels online.

The WSJ said that Amazon, which already offers subscription video-on-demand through its Prime Instant Video service in the US and Lovefilm in the UK and Germany, is yet to determine a business model for the virtual cable TV service. Citing people familiar with the matter, it also said it was still unclear whether the online retail client would move forward with the plan.

However, in a statement, Amazon denied the report, saying “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.”

The news follows an earlier WSJ report claiming that Amazon was also preparing a video-streaming set-top box to go up against rivals in the online TV space like Roku and Apple TV – though a rumoured release in time for Christmas 2013 never materialised.

The latest reports come in the same week that that Intel confirmed it is selling its cloud TV division, Intel Media, to Verizon, after failing to bring its much-anticipated OnCue TV service to market following more than two years of development.