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Monday, February 11, 2013

Amazon and CBS Announce Deal on Rights to \'Under the Dome\'

Amazon.com and the CBS Corporation on Monday announced a first-of-its-kind deal for the repeat rights to “Under the Dome,” a 13-episode television series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.

“Under the Dome” will debut on the CBS network on June 24. Episodes of the series will be replayed for free on CBS.com, as many of the network’s shows are, but for only three days. After that point the episodes will be available exclusively on Amazon’s subscriber-only Prime Insant Video service.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. But the deal is the latest indication of Amazon’s ambitious plans for streaming video, which it currently provides as part of its $79 annual Amazon Prime membership.
Earlier this month Amazon announced an exclusive deal to stream seasons of the PBS hit “Downton Abbey.” And the company is in the process of commissioning half a dozen comedy pilots, some of which will be turned into full-fledged series.

Brad Beale, the director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon, said in a statement: “Adding a current season major network TV series like ‘Under the Dome’ to the Prime Instant Video library so shortly after its live airing enables us to increase our exclusive selection of great TV shows and give c! ustomers access how, when and where they want to watch it.”

Amazon and CBS noted in the news release that the “Under the Dome” novel was a best-seller, both in print and on its Kindle e-reader, when it came out in 2009.

CBS announced last November that it had ordered the series. Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Television is producing the series.

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are mostly known for carrying past seasons of series, so the timeliness of the “Under the Dome” deal is noteworthy. For CBS, the arrangement is a way to offset some of the costs of the series and potentially attract new viewers to the television airings of te episodes.

Scott Koondel, the chief corporate content licensing officer for CBS, noted in a statement that the deal protects the three-day period of time when traditional television ratings are calculated for advertisers. This period is known as “C3.”

“With this innovative agreement, we’re giving fans more options to watch and stay current with this serialized series, and doing so in a way that protects the television network’s C3 advertising window,” Mr.
Koondel said.