Amazon just acquired new arms in its streaming video fight with Netflix, announcing today that it picked up exclusive rights to stream the hit FX gunslinging series Justified on Amazon Prime Instant Video, as well as the nonexclusive rights to stream FX's LAPD drama The Shield. Both shows come from a new licensing agreement between Amazon and Sony Pictures Television. Justified had been previously available through Amazon Instant Video, the pay-per-view service, for $1.99 per episode, where it became one of the "most watched shows" in the catalog, according to Amazon. But now Amazon Prime members will have unlimited access to episodes of Justified plus The Shield as part of their $79-per-year membership, which also includes free two-day shipping. The move comes on the heels of Amazon locking down Downton Abbey exclusively, including forthcoming seasons.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson tells The Verge that its exclusive rights to Justified include all seasons past and upcoming, and that seasons one through three are available for streaming now. Season four, which is currently airing, won't be up on Prime until just before season five begins. But you can still buy new episodes from season four the day after they air on Amazon Instant Video for the $1.99 pay-per-view price. The Shield concluded in 2008 and all seven seasons are already up on Prime Instant.
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