Skip to main content

Denied! Amazon claims it has no intention to get into the pay TV business

thanks amazon claims intentions getting online tv business prime header image
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Even as we wrote our report yesterday that Amazon was donning the proverbial shining armor and creating its own online TV service in the wake the failure of Intel’s OnCue system, it  just seemed a little too good to be true. Unfortunately, it looks like it was. Amazon representatives made a public statement late last night denying rumors of any plans the company has for creating an Internet base camp for live TV.

In an email to USA Today, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said, “We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service.”

The statement directly rebukes the now updated report we cited from The Wall Street Journal, which claimed that Amazon was not only working on acquiring live content to add to its Prime Instant Video’s stable of on-demand programming, but also that the company had already approached three different conglomerates in an attempt to lineup licensing deals. The latter statement was cited from unnamed sources, so it is unclear at this time whether the claims hold any credence.

Further, the report underscored existing rumors that Amazon was building a set-top-box, similar to Roku, and Apple TV devices, which seemed like the perfect venue from which to display its new live content. Though it appears live content will not be a part of the equation, there was no mention from Amazon in the USA Today article as to whether reports of the streaming box are also mere myth. The proposed box wouldn’t be the first time Amazon stepped into hardware, and in the light of successes from other tech giants like Apple and Google, it makes sense that Amazon would try and cash in. 

As for online TV, there are still a few specks of hope for those looking to ditch cable and satellite packages for an online alternative. Among several new content projects Sony is preparing, the company is working on a cloud-based TV service that it says will be ready some time later this year. According to USA Today, Sony representatives claim the service will offer live sports, as well as “the most popular live TV programs.” In addition, the service will reportedly feature video-on-demand, and personalized channels in the vein of social networking, allowing users to see what friends are watching and comment.

As is clearly evidenced, for those outside of the cable and satellite realm, acquiring live TV content is a decidedly challenging affair. Content providers are loathe to attract the wrath of powerful cable conglomerates like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon, from which they make a hefty profit, and any company that does manage to secure licensing contracts will likely pay an exorbitant sum. That said, Sony is in a prime position to get started, as it already has access to in-home programming like Breaking Bad, Justified, and The Blacklist.

With Verizon’s recent purchase of Intel’s OnCue system, which could give the communications titan a whole new venue from which to peddle its FiOS cable packages, it appears increasingly necessary for an online service to balance the cable equation with a viable alternative. We’ll have to wait and see if Sony can succeed where others have failed.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Waniata
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Waniata is a multi-year veteran of the digital media industry, a lover of all things tech, audio, and TV, and a…
How to reset an Amazon Fire TV Stick
The main Amazon Fire TV home screen.

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best streaming devices you can buy, but there are all sorts of reasons you might want to reset one. Maybe you're gifting it to someone. Maybe you just want a fresh start. Whatever the reason, it's super easy to reset your Fire TV Stick — or any Fire TV device, for that matter, whether it's at the low end of Amazon's offerings or at the high end.

Read more
Fire TV sticks are up to 40% off in Amazon’s Big Spring sale
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2023) and Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2023).

Amazon is hosting a Big Spring sale and with it comes some huge discounts on Amazon Fire TV devices. There’s up to 40% on some of the best ways to stream through your TV so there’s something for every budget and need here. With five different models on sale from the basic Amazon Fire TV Stick right up to the Amazon Fire TV Cube, we suggest you click the button below to see the full wealth of items on sale for yourself. If you’re not sure which Amazon Fire TV Stick is for you though, keep reading and we’ll take you through our recommendations.

What to buy in the Amazon Fire TV devices sale
The Amazon Fire TV stick range features heavily in our look at the best streaming devices. One of the highlights in the Big Spring sale is the . It usually costs $60 but it’s down to $40 for a limited time. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max makes it super simple to stream shows in 4K via compatible apps. There’s support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and also Dolby Atmos sound. However, it’s also designed to provide a great experience away from watching TV. That’s thanks to Fire TV Ambient Experience which allows you to display over 2,000 pieces of museum-quality art and photography. Alongside that, it’s also simple to control all your smart devices through it as you’d expect from one of the best Amazon Fire TV devices while Alexa voice controls are always useful to have.

Read more
Amazon is practically giving away this 50-inch 4K TV — now $210
The Insignia 50-inch F30 Series 4K Smart Fire TV hangs in a living room.

The 50-inch Insignia F30 Series 4K TV is already pretty affordable at its original price of $300, but Amazon's 30% discount makes it even cheaper at just $210. That's an excellent price for a TV of this size, so we're pretty sure that there will be a lot of interested shoppers in this limited-time deal. If you don't want to miss this chance to get the TV at $90 off, there's one thing that you need to do -- add it to your cart and proceed with the checkout process as soon as possible.

Why you should buy the 50-inch Insignia F30 Series 4K TV
If your living room or bedroom has enough space for a 50-inch screen, according to our guide on what size TV to buy, the Insignia F30 Series 4K TV is an excellent budget-friendly choice. Despite its low cost, you'll still get 4K Ultra HD resolution so that you can enjoy watching your favorite shows and movies with vivid details and bright colors, as well as DTS Studio Sound for realistic audio.

Read more