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Disney sells to Amazon, renews with Netflix

October 31, 2011 | 10:50 am

Disney deal: Like Netflix, Amazon will not get access to current shows in season. In other words, last week's 'Grey's Anatomy' won't show up on Prime Instant until a month after the current television season ends.

This post has been corrected. See bottom for details.

Walt Disney Co. has gotten on the Amazon gravy train.

Looking to acquire content for its video streaming service Prime Instant, Amazon has struck a deal with Disney's ABC broadcast network as well as its cable channels including Disney Channel, ABC Family and some older shows made by ABC Studios including "Felicity."

The short-term agreement is much smaller than Disney's current arrangement with Netflix, but the structure is similar. Like Netflix, Amazon will not get access to current shows in season.

The Netflix deal, which was also given a short-term renewal by Disney, is broader in terms of content. Amazon gets access only to past episodes of one current ABC series, "Grey's Anatomy." Netflix gets past episodes of the medical drama, its spinoff "Private Practice" and "Desperate Housewives."

Besides Disney, Amazon has also signed agreements with CBS, Fox, Warner Bros., Sony and NBCUniversal. It is making a big push for content to help boost sales of its new Kindle Fire tablet.

For all the big entertainment companies, Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services have turned into a vital new revenue stream. They need content for their streaming business and are throwing cash for old TV shows.

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-- Joe Flint

Photo: Jesse Williams, left, Sandra Oh and Kevin McKidd in the "Song Beneath the Song" episode of "Grey's Anatomy." Credit: ABC

For the record: A previous version of this post incorrectly suggested that Amazon would get the rights to this season's "Grey's Anatomy." Amazon only has the rights to library product from Disney.

 

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