Report: Amazon exploring online pay TV service launch

Amazon Instant VideoAmazon is reportedly exploring launching an online pay TV service and has approached major broadcasters about carrying their channels.

According to a Bloomberg report, the e-retail giant has contacted companies including CBS and NBCUniversal, though negotiations are preliminary.

Separately, Frost and Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn, in a piece for StreamingMedia, claimed that Amazon has been quietly asking “multiple content owners” about licensing content for a live streaming service over recent months.

“While none of the content owners want to go on record, or will discuss how far along Amazon is with their plans, other companies involved in the video ecosystem also confirm that Amazon is looking at potentially offering a live OTT video service of some kind,” said Rayburn.

He added that Amazon’s recent acquisition of video processing specialist Elemental Technologies gives it the platform capabilities required to launch such an online service.

When the deal was agreed last month, Elemental said Amazon’s acquisition will bring together Elemental’s video technologies with the AWS Cloud platform to provide media and entertainment companies with a way to scale their video infrastructure as they move to internet based delivery of services.

A live pay TV service would expand Amazon’s existing Prime Video offering, pitting it against over US over-the-top TV services like Dish’s Sling TV or Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

Apple was also reported earlier this year to be planning to launch an online TV service this autumn in partnership with broadcasters including ABC, CBS and Fox. Though the “slimmed-down” cable-style bundle offering is yet to materialise.

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