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Amazon courts studios for TV streaming service

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Internet retail titan Amazon.com has been reaching out to entertainment studios about licensing television programs for an online streaming service, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Such a move would add live television channels to the on-demand video service already offered by the company's Amazon Prime service and come as a challenge to cable or satellite television service providers.

The effort by Amazon is nascent and it remains to be seen whether it comes to fruition, according to the Journal.

Television giants tend to be reluctant to make distribution deals that might upset long-standing partners whose fees and payments have fueled industry growth.

But Japanese entertainment and consumer electronics giant Sony as well as YouTube-owner Google and Xbox maker Microsoft are also striving to ramp up program offerings at their online video venues.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Amazon is working on a set-top box for streaming video from the Internet.

Meanwhile, Verizon on Tuesday announced it is buying Intel Media, a unit of the chipmaking giant for delivering movies and more to televisions via the Internet cloud, for an undisclosed price.

The US telecom giant said the acquisition "will accelerate the availability of next-generation video services," delivered to devices including mobile phones and tablets.

The deal includes intellectual property rights and other assets for Intel's OnCue Cloud TV platform. Verizon will also offer to keep the 350-person Intel unit, which will continue to be based in Santa Clara, California.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140121/amazon-courts-studios-tv-streaming-service