Amazon in talks about entering the pay TV market

Amazon has looked into entering the pay television market as part of an expansion to its online video efforts.

Currently, through its Prime Instant Video service, Google offers on-demand downloads of television shows and movies to subscribers of its Amazon Prime shipping service.

The tech giant is certainly no stranger to making deals for exclusive media content rights.

Last year, the company signed a record $US200 million deal with US media giant Viacom for exclusive online streaming video rights to a range of popular children’s television shows from the cable channel Nickelodeon.

The deal, which covered more than 4000 episodes of programs – including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Go Diego Go! – came as part of the rollout of Prime Instant Video.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the company has looked at expanding its video offering to a full pay TV service, and has discussed streaming live pay television channels with broadcasters.

According to the report, the tech giant has approached at least three media conglomerates to discuss the possibility of streaming pay TV channels, although all discussions were reportedly in the early stages.

For its part, Amazon officially denies any plans to roll out such a service.

“We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” the company said in a statement.

Reports of the planned pay TV service come less than a year after rumours circulated that Amazon’s Lab 126 skunkworks is reportedly working on a set-top box that would allow viewers to stream online video from Amazon’s video on demand store, potentially also running apps from its Android app store.

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