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Amazon Channels brings live TV networks to Prime Video

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If you have an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription you can now get access to an array of premium TV channels through the Amazon Video service. This is the first time that Amazon has broken away from on-demand content to offer live viewing.

This new addition is, sensibly enough, named Amazon Channels. Unlike the current Prime Video subscription model, however, you will have to pay an extra cost per channel if you want to watch – and they don’t come cheap. The cheapest channels available are priced at £3.99 per month, while the most expensive is £9.99 per month.

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It may be early days still, but the selection of 40 channels available in the UK at the time of writing is a little odd, too. The majority of the names in the line-up may well be unfamiliar to most – take a look at the list below, along with their cost per month, and see how many you’d consider paying for:

  • Acacia TV – £5.99
  • Alchemiya – £3.99
  • Arrow Video – £4.99
  • BFI Player+ – £4.99
  • BeFit UK – £5.99
  • Comic Con HQ – £4.99
  • Curiosity Stream – £5.49
  • Daily Burn – £9.99
  • Discovery – £4.99
  • Eurosport Player – £6.99
  • Fandor – £3.49
  • Filmbox – £3.99
  • Full Moon Features – £3.99
  • Gaia – £7.99
  • Horse & Country Play – £3.99
  • ITV Hub+ – £3.99
  • hayu (NBC Universal) – £3.99
  • Heera – £3.99
  • Hopster – £3.99
  • Ketchup TV – £2.29
  • Love Nature – £3.99
  • MGM – £4.49
  • Motorvision – £2.99
  • MUBI – £5.99
  • Nautical Channel – £3.99
  • Nordic Noir and Beyond – £4.99
  • Panna – £1.49
  • Pinoy Box Office – £1.99
  • Planet Knowledge – £2.29
  • Pongalo Next – £2.99
  • Qello Concerts – £5.99
  • Realeyz – £4.99
  • Rooster Teeth – £3.99
  • Shudder – £4.99
  • Studio Universal Classics – £3.99
  • Sweatflix – £9.49
  • Tastemade Plus – £1.99
  • The Great Courses Signature Collection – £5.49
  • UP Family – £3.49
  • Viewster Anime – £6.99

You can watch Amazon Channels on any Amazon Fire device (such as the TV Stick or tablet), iOS devices and Android devices, and through the Amazon Video website (which will run on the Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Edge, Safari and Opera browsers). Amazon doesn’t specify whether or not channels will be accessible through the Prime Video Smart TV app.

Importantly, you will also need to have a valid TV license if you plan to sign up for any of these channels – something that many people who get the majority of their programming through services like Prime Video may not have.

Ready to take on Sky?

It may not look like much, but this first step into live TV is an enormous one. Until now, Netflix and Amazon Prime have been considered straight rivals locked in a two-horse race for the streaming throne. However, by venturing into real-time broadcasting, Amazon is seriously diversifying its service – and taking on a much bigger target.

Could this model of TV viewing really compete with the likes of Sky? Services such as NOW TV have already shown that there’s a market for a cheaper, more tailored TV experience, as more and more people grow fed up with paying over the odds for a wealth of channels they don’t want. If this goes well for Amazon, don’t be surprised if Netflix makes a similar move, too.

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