If you like to stream "Downton Abbey" on Netflix, don't get too used to it. On Friday, Feb. 1, Amazon.com announced that it had snared the exclusive streaming rights to the hit BBC series.
First, Amazon.com said that beginning on June 18, 2013, Amazon.com's Prime Instant Video would be the exclusive subscription service for streaming the all-new Season three of “Downton Abbey." Also, later in the year -- but not much later -- Amazon's Prime Instant Video will be the only streaming service to offer any seasons of “Downton Abbey.” For Season four of the series, and if produced, Season five, Prime Instant Video will continue to be the exclusive subscription home of "Downton Abbey."
Amazon.com did not detail "when" other services would lose "Downton Abbey," but a source close to the deal said that Netflix will lose its streaming rights on July 1.
The show will still be available on DVD and from non-subscription services like iTunes.
Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon.com said:
Our Prime customers have spoken -- they can't get enough of the Masterpiece Classic series "Downton Abbey." The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever. Prime Instant Video will soon be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for "Downton Abbey."
Note that Amazon.com is being clear and saying the series will be available on Prime Instant Video. That means it will be available to Amazon Prime members without any extra charge. Prime Instant Video is a subset of Amazon.com Instant Video.
For $79 annually, Amazon Prime also offers free two-day and lower-cost one-day shipping. In addition, users have access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library, where they can "check out" a maximum of one e-book per month -- for free -- and keep it for as long as they want.
"Downton Abbey" Season three episodes are currently available on Amazon.com Instant Video, at $1.99 per episode. Similar to iTunes earlier announced season pass offer, those who buy a TV Pass for "Downton Abbey's" Season three will instantly receive all remaining episodes in the season -- right now -- ahead of PBS' airing.