Amazon to make Prime Video Channels available in Canada

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Amazon says it’s close to finalizing plans to make Prime Video Channels available in Canada for the first time, giving its Prime Video subscribers (who pay $7.99 per month) the option to purchase from a selection of 13 channels of live and on-demand programming. The launch date still hasn’t been confirmed, though the company said it will be “soon.”

This marks a new milestone- those who ditched traditional TV channels in favour of cable and satellite TV will now have access to several popular channels, including kids’ broadcaster Nickelodeon, and multi-channel movie packages Super Channel and Hollywood Suite.

There’s also StackTV, a juiced-up selection of TV channels that’s almost like a mini cable package in itself. For that bundle, subscribers will pay $12.99 per month for access to live and on-demand programs from a roster of 12 networks, including Adult Swim, Food Network, Global, Slice and Showcase, all owned by Corus Entertainment.

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A selection of existing streaming platforms rounds out the current lineup, including horror outlet Shudder, indie movie hub Sundance Now, reality TV chest Hayu and LGBTQ-centric OutTV, which can all be added to Amazon for a range of $3.99 to 6.99 per month for each channel.

Starz, a new channel offering launched by Bell Media that’s also available on the Crave streaming platform, is $5.99 per month.

Some broadcasters are sitting out the launch entirely, including CBC, Bell Media’s CTV and TSN, as well as Rogers-owned channels, which include Citytv and the OMNI multicultural stations.
Helene Laurendeau, deputy minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a memo to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that virtual TV service providers “particularly Amazon Channels, (are) going to be even more disruptive to the Canadian broadcasting system than foreign streaming services”.

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She said Prime Video Channels would effectively make “moot? the concept of “skinny basic? and “pick and pay? packages from TV service providers and force any potential Canadian competitors with similar virtual TV services out of business.

This could soon be the death knell for many TV channels and more mergers. An entire medium is being disrupted. -CINEWS

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