Liberty Global's U.K. Cable Giant Virgin Media to Integrate Amazon Prime Video

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Virgin Media, which has offered Netflix on an integrated basis for years, has struck a multi-year deal to make the Amazon Prime Video app available to its pay TV subscribers.

Liberty Global, John Malone’s international cable and broadband company, has struck a multi-year deal to make Amazon Prime Video available to subscribers of U.K. cable giant Virgin Media.

Starting this summer, Virgin Media will be the first of Liberty Global’s European operations to integrate the Amazon Prime Video app into its Ultra HD V6 set top box, making the Amazon service available to around 4 million Virgin Media TV customers.

Virgin Media in 2013 reached Netflix's first integration deal into a pay TV offering, with Liberty Global later rolling out the integration in more than 30 countries. The Amazon integration is expected to be rolled out in other Liberty Global markets in Europe down the line.

Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. Virgin Media TV subscribers who also have an Amazon Prime membership will be able to access Amazon content via their Virgin service, eliminating the need to have a separate device and to switch between TV inputs and remote controls.

Analysts have said that the integration of streaming services into pay TV platforms helps the latter to provide more ease of use to consumers and reduce customer churn. For the streaming services, it is an opportunity to become more easily accessible on traditional pay TV services and possibly gain new subscribers.

Virgin Media management has said in the past that its Netflix integration has proven that both partners' services are "complementary."

"The deal further enhances Liberty Global’s strategy to combine the very best over-the-top online video apps and offerings from major streaming players with its own world-class content and TV functionality in a seamlessly integrated experience," Liberty Global said.

Virgin emphasized that with the integration, its subscribers will get to see such Amazon originals as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Grand Tour and the upcoming Good Omens, starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant, as well as English Premier League soccer.

“We have made it even easier for our customers to enjoy Prime Video, including Amazon originals like The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the highly anticipated Good Omens starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant,” said Jay Marine, vp Amazon Prime Video Europe. “We are excited that these shows and many others, award-winning movies and our forthcoming exclusive Premier League matches will all be available on Virgin Media’s V6 box for millions of Prime members across the country.”

Said Enrique Rodriguez, Liberty Global’s executive vp and chief technology officer: “We’re excited to partner with Amazon to deliver its highly popular content, including Amazon originals and exclusives, directly to our consumers. We know our customers want to see their favorite shows and programming on their big screen at home, and our partnership with streaming services like Amazon continues to make that happen.”