Amazon Locks Up Exclusive Streaming Rights for 'Downton Abbey'

Netflix Will Lose Access to Season 1 of British Drama
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Continuing to wage a battle with Netflix for content rights, announced a content licensing agreement with PBS that will make the online retailer’s Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription home for streaming the Carnival/Masterpiece co-production Downton Abbey.

Seasons 1 and 2 of the series are currently available on Prime Instant Video, and Amazon said they are the most-watched TV series of all time on the service.

Beginning June 18, 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the exclusive subscription service for streaming Season 3 of Downton Abbey, which is currently airing the U.S. on PBS affiliates. Later this year, according to Amazon, no digital subscription service other than Prime Instant Video will offer any seasons of Downton Abbey.

Currently, Netflix offers the first season of the show to streaming members, while Hulu Plus offers seasons 1 and 2. Comcast provides seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey via Xfinity Streampix, and Season 3 on Xfinity On Demand.

Prime Instant Video will continue to be the exclusive subscription home through Season 4 and, if produced, Season 5, Amazon said. The company also offers all three seasons of the original U.K. version of Downton Abbey for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray on, as well as digitally through Amazon Instant Video.

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video offers more than 36,000 movies and TV episodes available across a range of devices. The service is available to members of the Amazon Prime free-shipping program, which costs $79 per year.