Amazon.com, continuing to build out its video-streaming service to challenge Netflix, inked a deal with PBS Distribution to add more than 1,000 episodes of shows including NOVA, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow and The French Chef featuring Julia Child.
With the PBS deal, Amazon's Prime instant-video service will stand at 12,000 titles by the end of this year. The service -- available to members of the online retailer's $79-per-year free two-day shipping program -- can be accessed via more than 300 different devices. That includes Amazon's recently announced $199 Kindle Fire tablet, which includes one free month of the Prime service.
Amazon.com -- which has more than doubled the content lineup since launching Prime instant videos in February 2011 -- recently announced a deal with Twentieth Century Fox and has licensing deals with CBS, NBCUniversal, Sony, Warner Bros. and others.
PBS programming will roll out on the Prime instant-video service over the next several months. Programs will include: NOVA, Masterpiece and Antiques Roadshow, along with the Ken Burns series of documentaries featuring The Civil War, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Baseball, Jazz and Prohibition, which premiered on PBS stations earlier this month. Beginning in early November, for the first time ever on digital video, Prime members will have access to some 200 episodes of Julia Child's legendary The French Chef.
Amazon Prime instant video also will offer PBS news programs with day-after-air availability from shows like Frontline and Washington Week.
"Expanding the reach of our content by making it accessible through digital platforms is a key priority for PBS," Jason Seiken, senior vice president of PBS Interactive product development and innovation, said in a statement. "We are already delivering more than 150 million streams of programming across Web and mobile apps each month, so we are excited to offer more titles through Prime instant video and ensure that our acclaimed content is available whenever and wherever people want it."
Amazon does not disclose how many Prime members it has. Research firm Piper Jaffray estimates the company currently has about 5 million Prime members out of 121 million customers.