September 12, 2013 10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS, Amazon Renew 'Under the Dome' Streaming Pact for Season 2
CBS Corp. and Amazon are going back Under the Dome.
The companies have renewed their content licensing agreement for the second season of the summer's top scripted drama, CBS announced Thursday.
Under the deal, the Amblin Television drama from Steven Spielberg, based on Stephen King's best-selling novel, will return for its second season on Prime Instant Video, which will remain the exclusive online subscription home for the series. CBS renewed Under the Dome in July.
Amazon Prime members will be able to access unlimited streaming of each episode four days after its initial broadcast -- the same agreement as season one, which will wrap its run on Monday. Episodes will also be available on Amazon Instant Video devices, including Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii U. Under the Dome episodes will also be available for purchase and download exclusively through Amazon Instant Video.
Under the Dome ranks as the most watched series of the summer across broadcast and cable, averaging 14.8 million total viewers. It's the No. 1 series on broadcast with adults 18-49 (3.9 million) and adults 25-54 (5.2 million). The first episode of Under the Dome was the most watched TV premiere in the history of Amazon's Prime Instant Video and viewed by more customers of the service than any other series this summer.
CBS struck an early content licensing deal with Amazon, an arrangement that helped the network offset the cost of launching a pricey serialized original drama -- generally something the networks reserve for the fall -- in the typically low-rated summer months. Sources tell THR that the drama comes with a $3 million-per-episode price tag and has already been licensed in 200 international markets.
CBS will double down on Spielberg with a straight-to-series order for Extant, a futuristic drama from Amblin and CBS Television Studios, which will join Under the Dome on the schedule next summer. (For its part, Under the Dome was also picked up straight to series at CBS after being originally developed for corporate sibling Showtime.) No pacts similar to the Amazon deal have been announced for Extant.
Speaking this week at the HRTS' State of the Industry panel, FX CEO John Landgraf took issue with the Amazon streaming business model. "I think the windowing strategy was an abject failure," he said. "If [CBS] owned the rights they might not have been off Time Warner Cable as long as they were."