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Amazon inks deal with PBS to bolster Instant Video

The company says that over 1,000 episodes of PBS shows, including "Nova" and "Antiques Roadshow," will be available on its streaming service.

Prime Instant Video is getting PBS content.
Prime Instant Video is getting PBS content.
Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Amazon's Prime Instant Video streaming service is growing again, thanks to a deal the e-commerce giant has struck with Public Broadcasting Service.

According to Amazon, over 1,000 episodes from PBS' popular shows, including "Nova," "Masterpiece," and "Antiques Roadshow," will be available to the service's users. In addition, Ken Burns documentaries "The Civil War," "Baseball," and others will also come to the streaming service. Folks who watch PBS' news programs, "Frontline" and "Washington Week," will be able to watch the latest episodes the day after they air.

Amazon and PBS have had a streaming deal in place since Prime Instant Video launched last year. However, this agreement expands that relationship. Perhaps most importantly for Amazon, it also brings the company's streaming library up to 12,000 videos, more than double the 5,000 movies and television shows that were made available to users when the service launched last year.

Amazon has been on a content acquisition spree as of late. Just last month, the company announced a deal with 20th Century Fox that brought a host of popular television shows and movies to its streaming service. That agreement pushed Amazon's library up to 11,000 videos. Just a month prior, the company said that it had 9,000 movies and television shows available to users.

But even with all those additions, Amazon's service, included in its $79-per-year Prime subscription, which allows customers to receive free two-day shipping on many products they buy on the company's Web site, is still trailing far behind its chief competitor, Netflix. Although Netflix doesn't divulge the size of its library, it's widely believed that it's made up of about 20,000 pieces of content.

As Netflix and Amazon vie for dominance in the streaming-video market, the companies might soon need to worry about a new entrant into that space. Earlier this week, a startup called Vdio emerged from the shadows with the promise of taking on Netflix by offering streaming movies and television shows. So far, little is known about the service, but the company told CNET on Monday that it expects to launch its platform in the U.K. first with international expansion to follow.