Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 01:21 pm PT (04:21 pm ET)
Amazon seeks licenses for new pay-TV service with live channels - report [u]Amazon is reportedly negotiating with major entertainment companies for the rights to rebroadcast content live over the Internet as part of a new pay TV service from the online retailer.
Amazon recently got into the original content business with its own exclusive programming for the Amazon Prime service. But the new direction for the company, revealed on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal, which see Amazon act as more of a cable operator, offering existing channels with live programming streaming over the Internet.
The company's current Prime Instant Video service offers content on demand, including original comedies like "Alpha House" and "Betas," along with children's programs "Annebots," "Tumbleaf," and "Creative Galaxy."
While Amazon is said to be in talks with major content providers, no specific parties were named on Tuesday's report. In addition, the Journal said the plans are in the "early stages," which suggests that a launch may not be imminent.
In addition, the report noted that similar initiatives are being pursued by Sony and Google. However, it made no mention of Apple, which has been rumored to be pursuing such deals in the past as part of its living room "hobby."
Late last year, reports suggested that Amazon is planning to launch its own set-top box hardware, akin to the Apple TV, this spring. Amazon's hardware is said to be code-named "Cinnamon," and reports have suggested it would be capable of doing expected living room tasks such as streaming movies, TV shows and music.
It was also said that Amazon has been in negotiations with cable companies and other content providers to build their own apps for the device.
Apple, meanwhile, is also rumored to be working on its own hardware refresh for the Apple TV. The last time the company's living room hardware was given an update was March 2012, though a number of subsequent software updates have added new features and channels.
Update: Amazon rebuffed the reports of an over-the-top TV service in an email to USA Today. According to spokesman Drew Herdener, the company will instead continue to push Prime Instant Video and crete original shows at Amazon Studios.
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