Services & Software

Amazon exploring pay-TV too?

Amazon is said to be meeting with a few of the big media companies, eyeing the possibility of licensing their TV channels, in a report that comes the same day Verizon makes a big step toward such a service.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with Kindle Fire HDX tablets.

Amazon is exploring the possibility of licensing television channels for its own pay-TV service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said that Amazon is not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service.

It comes the same day Verizon took a major step closer to delivering live television over the Internet, agreeing to buy Intel's technology for such a service for an undisclosed sum. Sony went public with similar ambitions at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month: It plans to pilot a cloud-based TV service this year that combines live television content with on-demand videos and DVR.

To be sure, Amazon meeting with content rights holders about such a service is a far cry from cutting deals -- indeed, it's to be expected given the state of the industry. All the big names in technology are talking with all the big names in media, industry insiders have told CNET. Google is said to exploring a similar service, as is Apple.

Amazon has been making a concerted push enhance its video offerings, following the lead of Netflix is offering first a growing library of movies and TV shows to stream and then producing its own original programs.

The company is also said to be pursuing a TV box as well.

The Journal reported that Amazon has met with at least three large media companies about licensing programming. Nine companies make the vast majority of the content on television.

Intel was close to reaching content deals with many of those companies, CNET reported Tuesday, indicating content companies are open to such a service in principle.

Amazon already has a close collaborative relationship with CBS, the parent company of CNET. It invested in the broadcast network's summer sci-fi drama "Under the Dome" in exchange for exclusive streaming rights to the show just five days after episodes aired. It is renewing that partnership for a second season of "Under the Dome" and expanding it to another series, "Extant," starring Halle Berry,

CBS declined to comment immediately about talks with Amazon over channel licensing.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. PT: To include Amazon/CBS partnerships on other programming..

Updated at 5:30 p.m. PT with Amazon comment.