Amazon vexes Netflix by inking a deal for exclusive streaming rights to ‘Downton Abbey’

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It seems Amazon is the most recent mover and shaker in the ongoing scrum that is the streaming video world. The company recently finalized an agreement to become the sole subscription-based video platform to offer massively popular period-drama “Downton Abbey.”

An unlikely hit, the show has captivated American audiences with its fusion of hoighty toighty-ness and scandal. Though it had been available on other platforms (including Netflix), it will be pulled from those outlets later on this year.  

Calling the series a hit may even be putting it too mildly, as the Wall Street Journal reports that last month’s season three premiere drew 7.9 million sets of eyeballs in the U.S., quadrupling PBS’ average primetime rating. Given that kind of success, there will no doubt be a cavalcade of belated Abbey-addicts to capitalize upon.

The show’s deal with Amazon will go into effect on June 18, 2013 and will allow Amazon Prime Instant Video members to watch the series for free (after their subscription overhead that is). Those looking to stream the show elsewhere, will need to pay on a per-episode basis.

Though this news is sure to vex Netflix users, there’s still time to get a marathon or two in before “Downton Abbey” disappears from its lineup.

Consider all of the jostling in the video streaming world this week a reminder that the relatively young industry is still very much up for grabs.

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