Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Amazon Inks Deal With Viacom To Bring Popular Nickelodeon Shows To Amazon Prime Instant Video Customers; Deal Includes UK And Germany's LOVEFiLM Streaming TV Services

Kidscreen's children's digital entertainment and media news website iKids is reporting the exciting Nickelodeon International News in the following article that Amazon.com has secured an expanded multi-year, multi-national licensing deal with Viacom that will see a raft of hit kids shows including "Dora the Explorer", "Go, Diego, Go!", "Blue's Clues" and "The Backyardigans" become available to Amazon Prime Instant Video customers across mobile devices and internet-connected TVs and consoles! The deal comes a little more than a month after rival streaming service Netflix announced it was letting its existing deal with Viacom expire.

Kindle Fire customers with FreeTime Unlimited will be able to access select Nick and Nick Jr. (preschool) programming such as "Bubble Guppies", "Team Umizoomi" and "Victorious", as well as future episodes from series including "Dora The Explorer", "SpongeBob SquarePants", "Fairly OddParents", and "Fresh Beat Band".

European online subscription service LOVEFiLM, a Amazon subsidiary, also expects to add Viacom children's content for its customers in Germany and the UK later this summer.

According to Bill Carr, Amazon's Vice-President (VP) of digital video and music, the new deal gives customers the largest online subscription offering of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows.

The technology industry news website CNET UK Crave is also reporting LOVEFiLM's UK content deal with Viacom International Media Networks also includes programming from Nickelodeon's sister networks, MTV and Comedy Central.

The news coms after the UK version of Amazon.com's LOVEFiLM acquired the streaming and VOD rights to 20 years' worth of episodes of "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" and the live-action "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series, "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation", from Saban Brands. The new deal will enable LoveFilm subscribers to view the very first episodes of "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" right through to the most recent "Super Samurai" season in HD:
Amazon Prime picks up Viacom kids programming

Amazon.com has secured an expanded multi-year, multi-national licensing deal with Viacom that will see a raft of hit kids shows including Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans become available to Amazon Prime Instant Video customers across mobile devices and internet-connected TVs and consoles. The deal comes a little more than a month after Netflix announced it was letting its existing deal with Viacom expire.

Kindle Fire customers with FreeTime Unlimited will be able to access select Nick and Nick Jr. programming such as Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi and Victorious, as well as future episodes from series including Dora, SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly Odd Parents, and Fresh Beat Band.

European online subscription service LOVEFiLM also expects to add Viacom kids content for its customers in Germany and the UK later this summer.

According to Bill Carr, Amazon’s VP of digital video and music, the new deal gives customers the largest online subscription offering of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows.

Prime Instant Video now features more than 41,000 movies and TV episodes for its members to stream using Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Wii U, and additional internet-connected TVs and devices.

Tags: Amazon Prime Instant Video, Amazon.com, digital media, Dora the Explorer, Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Viacom
Also, from CNET UK Crave:
Lovefilm UK nabs Nickelodeon, new shows due in summer

Lovefilm subscribers will enjoy a glut of extra shows in the next few months, as parent-company Amazon has tied up a new contract with Viacom.

The freshly-inked deal will see TV programmes from Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central hitting the streaming service.

That could see Lovefilm becoming more kid-friendly, as Nickelodeon owns the rights to cracking childrens' shows including Dora the Explorer, Fairly Odd Parents and [David] Hasselhoff favourite SpongeBob SquarePants.

That could help Lovefilm battle its major rival Netflix, which already has rights to all those shows, and has also sealed a deal to stream Disney flicks to UK youngsters.

Lovefilm recently squeezed US drama Vikings onto its service as a UK exclusive, in a bid to compete with the likes of Netflix's House of Cards, or Sky's iron-clad grip on Game of Thrones.

Lovefilm isn't confirming exactly which shows from Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central will be landing on its streaming service, offering only that individual programmes would be confirmed soon. It's not unusual for US shows to take ages to make it to the UK, or never arrive at all.

Do you prefer Lovefilm or Netflix? Is streaming TV the future, or would you rather brew a hot mug of cocoa and settle in with good-old broadcast telly? Let [NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and/or NickALive!'s Facebook wall].
Also, from C21Media:
Amazon absorbs SpongeBob

Amazon has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Viacom, bringing a selection of shows previously available on Netflix to its VoD service.

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video will host content from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, including shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans.

Some of these will be available exclusively on Amazon. Customers of the company’s European business LoveFilm in the UK and Germany will get some of the same shows later this summer.

Netflix’s licensing deal with Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) came to a close last week.

In addition to kids’ content such as SpongeBob, older-skewing shows from MTV and Comedy Central including Key & Peele, Workaholics, Awkward and Teen Mom 2 will also be available to Amazon users.

In related news, Nickelodeon in Asia has picked up fairytale toon Mia and Me for broadcast on its pay TV channels in countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mia and Me follows a schoolgirl-turned-elf fighting to save the Unicorn populatio. Its first season (26x24′) has been sold to more than 70 broadcasters worldwide.

A second season is currently in production with M4E/Gerhard Hahn joint-venture Lucky Punch alongside Italian toon house Rainbow and Canada’s March Entertainment.

Nico Franks

TAGS: vod
GENRES: Animation, Children's
SHOWS: Dora the Explorer, Mia and Me, SpongeBob SquarePants
COMPANIES: Amazon, Netflix, Viacom International Media Networks
Also, from World TV PC:
Also, from Variety:
Amazon Boosts Viacom TV Pact, After Shows Roll Off Netflix

Subset of Nick, MTV and Comedy Central shows under multiyear deal are exclusive to Amazon's Prime Instant Video

Dora is heading into the Amazon.

Viacom and Amazon cut an expanded multiyear, multinational digital video licensing agreement — giving the Internet retailer access to hundreds of Nickelodeon and MTV shows just a few weeks after the Viacom content dropped off Netflix.

At this point, Viacom is supplying Netflix only movies from the Epix service, the joint venture with MGM and Lionsgate; Paramount has a separate output deal with Netflix. Netflix has noted that as the Viacom titles have rolled off, it is adding content from Walt Disney Co. under a multiyear pact.

Terms of the new Amazon-Viacom deal were not disclosed. The deal, which covers video available to subscribers of the Prime free-shipping program, includes a subset of exclusive TV shows unavailable via any other digital video subscription service, including kids’ programming such as “Bubble Guppies,” “The Backyardigans,” “Team Umizoomi,” “Blue’s Clues” and “Victorious,” along with MTV’s “Awkward” and Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0″ and “Workaholics.”

Prime members also will have access to future episodes of “Dora the Explorer,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Fairly Odd Parents” and ”Fresh Beat Band.” LoveFilm customers in the U.K. and Germany will get some of those shows later this summer.

“Kids shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video,” said Bill Carr, Amazon’s VP of digital video and music. “And this expanded deal will now bring customers the largest subscription selection of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. TV shows online, anywhere.”

Viacom topper Philippe Dauman commented, “Amazon has created a unique, brand-friendly environment for streaming entertainment and consumer products and we are excited to work with Amazon to bring customers shows they love.”

Also under the companies’ deal, certain shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. will be available in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a service that provides books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows on the Amazon tablets.

Still, the Viacom agreement with Amazon does not preclude the media conglom from selling other content to Netflix that is not exclusively carried by Amazon. According to an industry exec with knowledge of the situation, Viacom remains in talks with Netflix about a new deal for TV shows while the company also continues to have licensing deals with Netflix in international markets.

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video now offers 41,000-plus movies and TV episodes. As previously announced, later this month Prime Instant Video will exclusively offer PBS’s “Downton Abbey” and CBS’s “Under the Dome,” with each episode of the latter added four days after initial broadcast. Amazon also last month inked an expanded pact with NBCUniversal, which includes exclusive streaming rights to five drama series from NBC, USA Network and Syfy for four years.

In addition, Amazon last week greenlit its first original series, to be available starting later this year on the retailer’s Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm services. The group of five shows are comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas,” along with kids’ shows “Annebots,” “Creative Galaxy” and “Tumbleaf.”

Viacom, for its part, is expanding its TV Everywhere push to try to preserve its existing cable distribution deals. Nick, for example, has released apps that provide full-length episodes, plus games and other digital content, on iPad and iPhone and expects to launch a version for Microsoft Xbox 360 next month.

FILED UNDER: Amazon Netflix Viacom
Also, from Reuters UK:
Amazon writes huge check for video rights to Dora, SpongeBob

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc wrote its largest-ever check for a subscription-streaming deal, securing hundreds of mostly childrens' TV programs from Viacom Inc for its Internet video service and ratcheting up pressure on rival Netflix.

Amazon's deal with Viacom gives the world's largest Internet retailer broader access to hit shows including "Dora the Explorer" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Netflix had previously conceded that losing access to those shows would be a blow.

Amazon agreed to pay more than $200 million to Viacom for the license, its largest subscription-streaming transaction ever, a person familiar with the deal said. A second person familiar said the deal would run more than two years and included a deeper library of content than the prior Netflix agreement.

The Amazon-Viacom pact comes just days after Netflix stopped streaming popular Nickelodeon programming, following the expiration of its deal with the company.

The deal includes about 4,000 TV episodes that will be available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video. This service is free for subscribers to Amazon's Prime program, which, for $79 a year offers free two-day shipping in the United States for items purchased through Amazon.

Part of the payment went to secure exclusive subscription streaming rights to several shows from Viacom's Nick Jr channel, including the "Dora" franchise, "Go Diego Go!," "Blue's Clues" and "The Backyardigans."

Amazon is spending heavily on video content as it competes with Netflix and Hulu for a piece of the fast-growing market for TV and movies delivered over the Internet. Childrens' shows are among the most-watched on Amazon's service, according to Bill Carr, the company's vice president for digital video and music.

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, in a CNBC interview last week, said his service still had plenty of content for children but losing the Viacom programming could hurt.

"If you're a parent and your child's looking for 'Blue's Clues,' you know, that is definitely a problem," he said, while noting that Netflix still has programming from the likes of Disney and Cartoon Network.

In early May, Netflix announced a new multiyear license agreement with Walt Disney Co that gave Netflix the exclusive right to stream "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," along with access to other Disney shows including "Handy Manny."

Viacom's shares rose 1 percent to $67.575 in morning trading, while Netflix shares were up 1.4 percent at $225. Amazon gained 44 cents to $267.34.
Also, from Mashable:
Dora and SpongeBob Come to Amazon Prime

Are you upset that Dora the Explorer is no longer on Netflix? It might be time to switch to Amazon Prime, where Dora, SpongeBob and hundreds of other Viacom TV shows will now have a home.

Amazon and Viacom announced a new multi-year licensing agreement on Tuesday that brings thousands of episodes Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV and Comedy Central shows to Amazon Prime. The deal is an expansion of a previous deal Viacom and Amazon signed in 2012, and comes in the wake of the loss of Viacom content from streaming rival Netflix.

While the terms of the new agreement weren't disclosed, people familiar with the deal told Mashable that it was "in the hundreds of millions" and classified it as Amazon's biggest content deal to date.

And good news for European users: Amazon Lovefilm customers in Germany and the UK will be getting some of these shows later this summer. Given the difficulties of international content deals, it's impressive that Amazon will be able to offer a subset of programming to its customers outside the United States.

While content from across Viacom's networks are included in the deal, Amazon is putting special focus on its offerings for kids.

"Kids shows are one of the most watched TV genres on Prime Instant Video," said Bill Carr, Amazon's VP of digital video and music, in a statement about the deal.

Amazon Prime users will have full access to the Nick and Nick Jr. shows, and select shows from Nick and Nick Jr. will be available on Kindle FreeTime Unlimited — a service our own Pete Pachal has called "Amazon's secret weapon." Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is a cheaper subscription offering for Kindle Fire owners that gives them access to an assortment of kid-friendly video programming.

Amazon Prime Instant is available on the web, as well as Roku, iOS, Kindle Fire, Xbox, PlayStation 3 and a number of smart TVs and Blu-ray players.

Do these new shows make you more likely to consider an Amazon Prime subscription? Let us know in the comments. As for me, I'm off to watch Teen Mom 2.

Also, from SlashGear:
Amazon snatches Viacom on-demand deal leaving Netflix facing parent ire

Amazon has sealed a deal with Viacom, bringing a clutch of new shows – including Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! – to Prime Instant Video, and potentially dropping Netflix in even hotter water with angry parents. The deal, which will see Amazon add Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTC, and Comedy Central shows to its on-demand catalog, follows the expiration of Netflix’s licensing agreement with Viacom last month, which prompted outcry from some subscribers after the shows their children watched regularly suddenly disappeared from the listings.

Exact terms of the deal are unconfirmed, though it’s described as a “multi-year, multi-national” agreement. Amazon has already said that LOVEFiLM subscribers in the UK and Germany will see “some” of the shows covered as part of today’s agreement, though they’ll have to wait until later in the summer before they’re available.

Amazon’s content will be available on the Kindle Fire, as well as through iOS devices and Roku’s set-top boxes. Consoles will also be catered for, together with some smart TVs. Instant Prime membership is part of Amazon’s Prime program, priced at $79 per year.

Access to content has become the new sparring ground for on-demand providers, with who has the biggest and broadest catalog being an important factor as viewers shop around for the best deal. Netflix discovered to its cost last month that suddenly losing access to shows – particularly those aimed at kids – could quickly raise the ire of subscribers, who have become used to being able to show their children certain programs.

After Netflix lost the deal with Viacom, many parents threatened to leave and sign up with the next service to offer the coveted shows; alternatively, there were suggestions that some could turn to illegal downloads instead. Netflix is yet to comment on the Viacom deal with Amazon.