Belfast Telegraph

Live and on-demand TV channels added to Amazon Prime subscription service in UK

Amazon has added live and on-demand TV channels to its Prime subscription service in the UK for the first time.

Customers are now able to subscribe to Amazon Channels including Eurosport Player, Discovery and on-demand reality TV channel hayu on a monthly basis, with prices starting at £1.49 a month.

The service has been made available to members of Amazon's Prime scheme, the subscription service that also includes the tech giant's music and video streaming services as well as faster delivery options from the online retailer.

In total more than 40 channels are being introduced at the launch of the service, which until now had focused on streaming TV and films as a rival to Netflix.

Amazon's Alex Green said: "For the first time, Prime members in the UK and Germany will be able to choose to watch premium TV channels without having to sign up to a bundle or a contract, giving them the freedom to pay for only what they want to watch.

"From live sport to Bollywood, art-house cinema to reality TV, and award-winning TV shows from popular channels like Discovery and ITV, Amazon Channels gives power back to customers to choose exactly what they want to watch."

Industry expert Paolo Pescatore, from analyst firm CCS Insight, said the addition of live TV to Amazon Prime could change the landscape of the TV market.

"(Amazon Channels is) a highly disruptive move and one that threatens Sky's dominance in the pay-TV market both in the UK and Germany," he said.

"Beyond free-to-air services, the addition of Discovery's channels is hugely significant.

"This is the first time that its channels have been made available outside of the Sky universe and out of a bundle. In our opinion, this will force many households to think twice about their pay-TV subscription and cut the cord as we've seen in the US.

"Especially if Amazon will add more live TV such as sports in the future."

Amazon has grown from an online book store launched in 1995 to one of the largest technology companies in the world, which also now has its own TV and film studio and manufactures hardware - including tablet computers and the Amazon Echo smart speaker.