The online retail giant has launched a new service to let cable channels sell subscriptions to their programming to Amazon Prime customers.

Share story

Amazon Prime customers will soon be able to watch cable programs such as Showtime’s “Homeland” with Claire Danes and Starz’s “Blunt Talk” with Patrick Stewart, but they’ll have to pay extra to do it.

Amazon.com has launched its Streaming Partners Program, an offering that lets cable channels offer programming to Prime members and get paid for it. The so-called “over-the-top streaming subscription program” gives video providers a way to reach the tens of millions of Amazon Prime members, while making Prime a more appealing service.

Showtime and Starz, for example, will each charge Prime members $8.99 a month, after a seven-day free trial. That will give customers access to each channel’s original programming, as well as movies, comedy specials and other shows.

Showtime and Starz are the big-name content providers. For $3.99 a month, after a seven-day free trial, Prime members can watch Comedy Central Stand-Up Plus, featuring original stand-up specials. For $4.99 a month, after a 30-day free trial, they can catch British shows, such as “Doc Martin,” on Acorn TV.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

While some of the channels have their own on-demand offerings, the over-the-top service turns the administration of billing and customer acquisition to Amazon.

“With the Streaming Partners Program, we’re making it easy for video providers to reach highly engaged Prime members, many of whom are already frequent streamers, and we’re making it easier for viewers to watch their favorite shows and channels,” Michael Paull, vice president of digital video at Amazon, said in a statement.