Amazon Prime Video Secures Distribution With Altice European Subsidiaries

Amazon (and Amazon Prime Video) may be available in the U.K., France, Germany and Italy via the Internet. Now, the No. 2 SVOD service behind Netflix has secured direct access deals with pay-TV operator Altice Europe.

The Dutch-based owner of New York-based Cablevision, inked a deal with Prime Video to make the latter’s content directly available via set-top boxes of SFR in France and Altice units in Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic, among others.

SFR will be the first of Altice operations and the first operator in France to have the Prime Video app within its LaBox SFR Fibre, SFR Box Plus and SFR Box 8 set-top boxes.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Subs will have access to Amazon Originals “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Good Omens,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “The Grand Tour,” “The Boys,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “American Gods” and the highly-anticipated “Carnival Row,” an American neo-noir fantasy Web television series with Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne launching this fall.

SFR customers will also have access to local Originals like Jérôme Commandeur: Tout en douceur and Raphael Varane: Destin de Champion, and popular French and Hollywood movies.

A large selection of titles on Prime Video are available in Ultra High Definition (UHD) and HDR.

The deal furthers Altice’s strategy combining third-party over-the-top online video apps and services with its own content and TV functionality in an integrated experience. The launch will commence after the arrival of Amazon Alexa within SFR Box 8.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Amazon to deliver its highly-popular content, including Amazon Originals and Exclusives, directly to our consumers,”Alain Weill, Altice Europe CEO, Altice France Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We know our customers want to see their favorite shows and programming on their big screen at home, and our collaboration with streaming services like Amazon continues to make that happen.”

Indeed, earlier this month, Mexico’s Totalplay became the first SVOD service in Latin America to offer direct access to Prime Video.

Amazon is also bowing its first original series in Australia with “LOL: Last One Laughing,” starring Rebel Wilson.

Netflix Finally Available on Sky

Netflix, beginning Sept. 19, is now available as a direct link to U.K. pay-TV service Sky – about six months after first announcing a partnership with the high-profile satellite TV operator.

The SVOD behemoth is available to Sky’s most-expensive Q bundle for an extra £10 monthly as part of Sky’s “Ultimate On Demand” add-on feature. Existing Netflix subscribers can link their account to Sky Q or log onto the Netflix app separately.

But direct access, including Netflix original programing on display alongside traditional pay-TV selections is precisely why multichannel video program distributors such as Comcast, Virgin Media (since 2013), Altice USA, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Liberty Global and T-Mobile, among others, have embraced Netflix.

“We are partnering with a growing number of pay-TV providers across the world to the benefit of our mutual customers,” Netflix said in its Q4 shareholder letter. “These partnerships make it easier for consumers to sign up, enjoy, and pay for Netflix, while our service allows our partners to deepen their relationships with these subscribers.”

Amber Pine, commercial director at Sky, says the satellite TV operator with about 9 million U.K. subscribers has a lot of mutual customers.

“The depth of this integration provides them with a unique experience where they can have the best of both worlds,” Pine said in a statement.

Indeed, British regulator Ofcom recently reported that over-the-top video across the pond has now topped pay-TV in the number of subscribers: 15.4 million to 15.1 million.

“On a simplistic level, Sky and Netflix look like direct competitors,” Andrew McIntosh, the head of TV analysis at Enders Analysis, told Wired. “But they act on different levels, which Sky is well aware of. Sky doesn’t offer what Netflix offers. Now it is providing what it can’t offer, but still through the Sky package. And it makes Sky look good, because it is putting the customer first. It’s a very clever move.”

And interesting, considering both Comcast, Fox (and Disney) have competing acquisition bids on the table for Sky.