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Amazon Prime adds PBS, prepping for Kindle Fire

By Todd Bishop

GeekWire

Popular PBS shows such as Nova, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, and documentaries by Ken Burns will be added to the streaming content available to Amazon Prime subscribers under a distribution deal announced this morning between PBS and Amazon.com.

Amazon has been beefing up its Amazon Prime catalog in advance of the upcoming release of the Kindle Fire, aiming to persuade users of the device to pay for the $79/year subscription service after a one-month free trial that comes with the device.

The addition of current and archived PBS programs will boost the library of Amazon Prime streaming videos to more than 12,000 by the end of the year, the company says.

PBS programs have previously been available for individual purchase via the Amazon Instant Video streaming service, but the new deal means they’ll be available at no additional cost to members of the Amazon Prime service for viewing on the Kindle Fire, computers and other devices. PBS shows will roll out on Amazon Prime over the next several months.

Shows will include NOVA, Masterpiece and Antiques Roadshow. Ken Burns documentaries on the service will include The Civil War, The National Parks, Baseball, Jazz and Prohibition. Current affairs shows such as Frontline and Washington Week will be available for streaming the day after they air. Also added to the Amazon Prime catalog will be 200 episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child.

The company is believed to be selling the $199 Kindle Fire at a loss, with the goal of making up the difference by boosting its sales of online content, subscriptions, and merchandise through its e-commerce store.

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