CBS in streaming deal with Amazon


CBS Corporation and announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement for streaming on the Amazon website. The joint announcement Wednesday (7/20) said Amazon customers will be able to “stream television shows from CBS’s vast library.”

Amazon Prime customers will be able to instantly watch thousands of episodes from the CBS library at no additional cost to their membership. With the deal, Amazon said it will add 2,000 episodes to grow the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 8,000 movies and television shows, and offer full seasons for 18 popular television series, including “The Tudors,” “Numb3rs,” “Medium,” the complete “Star Trek” franchise, “Frasier” and “Cheers.”  Starting this summer, dozens of CBS shows will also become available to Amazon Instant Video customers.

“Our new deal with CBS makes Amazon Prime even better for customers,” said Jeff Bezos, CEO.  “We’re excited to add thousands of popular CBS programs to our already great selection, all of which stream at no additional cost to Amazon Prime members.”

“Amazon has created one of the most popular consumer marketplaces in the world, and we are very pleased to make these titles available to their Instant Video and Prime customers. This new agreement represents another meaningful way for us to realize incremental value for CBS’s content,” said CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves.

Amazon Instant Video is a streaming video service that offers customers more than 90,000 movies and television shows available to purchase or rent, and with this CBS content included, will offer more than 6,000 movies and television shows included at no additional cost with an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon said its customers can instantly watch movies and television shows on a Mac, PC or directly on television with any of the 300 compatible devices.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker has her own ideas about how much money is involved – and she told clients it appears to be “highly accretive” for CBS.

“Per our calculation, the Amazon deal is likely over $100M in revenue and could result in more than $0.06 in incremental EPS (2012). We believe that the majority of this deal’s economics will be captured in early 2012,” Ryvicker told clients.

RBR-TVBR observation: CBS is the only one of the Big Four which is not participating in Hulu. Moonves has consistently stated that he is willing to do online streaming deals, but only if the pricing is attractive. Apparently Amazon is willing to pay more than Hulu.