Amazon Channels launches in the United Kingdom and Germany

Amazon Channels now available in UK and Germany

Amazon Channels now available in UK and Germany

These will include channels from Discovery Communications, such as Eurosport for GBP 6.99 a month and Discovery Channel for GBP 4.99 a month, as well as ad-free access to ITV channels and catch-up for GBP 3.99 per month.

It is interesting to see that Amazon is taking a step closer to being like a traditional TV network with the option to watch a live stream of a TV channel, especially as Sky is moving towards a more on-demand streaming-based service with Sky Q.

ITV and Discovery join Amazon Channels.

The channels will be on offer to Amazon Prime customers for an additional cost per channel.

Amazon has announced it will offer live television channels via its Prime Video service, for an extra fee.

Alex Green, MD for Europe at Amazon Channels, said the launch would allow Prime members in the United Kingdom and Germany "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".

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Susanna Dinnage, Discovery's United Kingdom boss, said the tie-up with Amazon "underlines our strategic ambition to reach people across every screen".

Prime customers now pay £79 a year or £7.99 a month to access the on-demand library.

Amazon's pay-TV platform could have strong impact on the pay-TV market, according to Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media, at research company CCS Insight: "A highly disruptive move and one that threatens Sky's dominance in the pay-TV market both in the United Kingdom and Germany". Conspicuous by their absence are the UK's other main free-to-air broadcasters - the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

"For the first time, Prime members in the United Kingdom 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".

Frustratingly, the major players like HBO aren't yet available on the UK's version of the service yet, and from looking through the list of available channels, there isn't anything that is a serious enough contender to pull you away from another service, but it could be a useful addition for users that are already paid-up Amazon Prime subscribers.

Alex Green, the former BT TV executive recruited by Amazon to lead its pay-TV venture in Europe, said he was confident of attracting more broadcasters once the service is available and drawing in paying customers. Amazon's pricing shows that this can turn out to be a very expensive solution for the viewer.