Amazon expands original content program with feature films as Apple TV adds more live sports

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With access to in-demand content an increasingly important differentiator for internet streaming services, retailing giant Amazon has announced that it will move beyond television series and produce original theatre-bound movies, while Apple has struck yet another agreement to carry a live sports channel on the Apple TV with Tennis Channel Everywhere.

Amazon's plans include the production of 12 movies each year, Amazon Studios chief Roy Price said on Monday. Each film will debut in theaters before arriving on Amazon Prime Instant Video less than two months after their theatrical release, compared to the typical 9-month lag time for Hollywood films.

Seattle, Wash.-based Amazon has already experienced critical success with its Transparent television series, and will lean on Hollywood veteran Ted Hope to helm the movie program.

Unlike Amazon and industry leader Netflix, Apple has sidestepped the original content trend and continued to expand the library of licensed content available via iTunes and the Apple TV. To this end, the company recently added Tennis Channel Everywhere to the Apple TV's live sports lineup, which already includes options from ESPN, Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, ACC, WWE, and UFC.

Tennis fans can access live coverage either by signing in via a supported cable or satellite provider or paying a separate $69.99 yearly subscription fee for the Tennis Channel Plus service, which also enables access on the Tennis Channel's iOS apps. Highlights can be viewed without a subscription.