Amazon locks down 'Downton Abbey' exclusively for Prime Instant Video

Downton Abbey press

Amazon and Netflix continue to elevate their battle for subscription streaming video supremacy. Just a day after Netflix premiered its original show House of Cards, Amazon has announced that it has struck a deal with PBS to exclusively carry the US subscription streaming rights to the incredibly popular show Downton Abbey. Season three will be released exclusively on Prime Instant Video on June 18th, and while seasons one and two are currently available on other services, later this year they'll only be found on Prime Instant Video. Season four — and season five, if produced — will also be exclusive as part of the agreement. The show will still be available on DVD and from non-subscription services like iTunes.

According to a source close to the deal, Netflix, which currently streams the first season of Downton Abbey, will lose its rights to the series on July 1. After that time, Prime Instant Video will have exclusive subscription streaming rights in the US for the entire run of Downton Abbey.

Both Amazon and Netflix have continually worked to secure exclusive streaming rights for TV shows and movies, but the two companies have also invested in producing their own original content. In addition to House of Cards, Netflix is working on a new season of Arrested Development and it released its first original series, Lilyhammer, last year. Amazon is lagging a bit behind, but it is developing a number of new shows and movies, including Zombieland, which stars Woody Harrelson. The battle for exclusives isn't limited to Amazon and Netflix, however: Hulu Plus is the exclusive streaming home to the Criterion Collection of iconic films. With the battle raging across services, it's becoming clear that consumers will be forced to subscribe to multiple streaming services if they want access to every hit show and movie.

Tim Carmody contributed to this report.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.