Amazon, Viacom Ink Multiyear Licensing Deal

6:43 AM PST 06/04/2013 by Lacey Rose
Courtesy of Nick Jr.
"Dora the Explorer."

As part of the multinational deal, the company will now carry a vast collection of Viacom series formerly available on Netflix, including "Dora the Explorer" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Netflix's loss appears to be Amazon's gain.

The Seattle-based e-commerce company has inked a multiyear, multinational deal to carry Viacom shows, including kid favorites Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans and SpongeBob SquarePants. Also included in the mix for Amazon’s Prime Instant Video is programming from MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central such as Tosh.0, Workaholics and Awkward. The move comes just weeks after Viacom fare came off of rival Netflix, which opted not to renew its licensing deal with the cable giant.

Amazon, for its part, has proved particularly aggressive in recent months as it looks to be a formidable Netflix competitor, scooping up exclusive rights to series including Downton Abbey and CBS’ forthcoming summer spectacle Under the Dome. Additionally, the digital service is adding original offerings, including recently greenlighted pilots Alpha House and Betas. The latest deal includes exclusive programming licenses for "a collection of TV shows that customers won’t be able to find on any other digital video subscription service," according to Amazon. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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“Kids' shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video, and this expanded deal will now bring customers the largest subscription selection of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. TV shows online, anywhere,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s vp digital video and music, in a statement announcing the news Tuesday.

Added Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman: “This innovative agreement will provide Prime members with access to even more of our best programming from our major television brands, including many digital video subscription streaming exclusives. Amazon has created a unique, brand-friendly environment for streaming entertainment and consumer products and we are excited to work with Amazon to bring customers shows they love.”

Amazon Instant Video is the company's digital video streaming and download service that offers content for rent, purchase or subscription. Amazon's European video streaming service LoveFilm will make some of the Viacom content available to customers in the U.K. and Germany later this summer, the company added.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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