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Amazon adds Viacom shows to expand online video

Published February 8, 2012 8:57 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Amazon.com Inc. entered an agreement with Viacom Inc., the owner of the Nickelodeon and MTV cable networks, expanding its online video library to 15,000.

Amazon Prime members, which get free two-day shipping and access to an online streaming video service for $79 a year, will be able to watch shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and TV Land, among other channels, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement.

The financial terms weren't disclosed.

Amazon's Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said the company added films and shows from studios including News Corp.'s Fox and Warner Bros. to its video service in part to help increase the value of the Kindle Fire computer tablet.

While Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, sells the device at a loss, it will make $136 on each device after sales of books, movies and music, according to Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

"This deal with Viacom brings Prime customers and Kindle Fire users thousands of comedies, kids' shows, reality TV and much more from some of the best cable networks available," said Brad Beale, director of video content acquisition for Amazon. "We are constantly working to improve the service by adding the shows that our customers enjoy the most."

The number of videos bought or rented and the number of customers on Amazon Instant Video, the company's online streaming service, more than doubled in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, Amazon said last month.