Amazon’s TV network subscription service likely launching tomorrow


A trusted source at Amazon, who wishes to remain anonymous, has informed me that Amazon’s rumored TV network subscription service is schedualed to launch tomorrow. The new service will give Amazon Prime members the option to subscribe to individual TV networks for an additional monthly fee. Subscribing to a network will unlock that network’s on-demand content within Amazon Video. Two of the networks that are expected to be available at launch are Showtime and Starz, with many more coming soon.

Support for this new subscription service on the Fire TV will initially be limited. You will not be able to subscribe to a network from the Fire TV, but rather, must do so through Amazon’s website. Once subscribed to a network, all of its content will be accessible through the Fire TV, but there will be no easy way to browse the videos from a particular network. For now, you will have to find a network’s content using the Fire TV’s search function. A Fire TV software update, expected to arrive early next year, will add the ability to browse content by network, as well as the option to subscribe directly through the Fire TV itself.

While all signs seem to indicate the service will launch tomorrow, the date is not set in stone. The service was initially set to launch last week on December 2nd and was then changed to the 3rd, only to now be slated for tomorrow, December 7th. The launch delay is partially due to Amazon’s largest software quality assurance team being put completely out of commission due to the severe flooding in Chennai, India.

  1. clocks says:

    I always get skeptical when I hear things like “Support for this new subscription service on the Fire TV will initially be limited”. Often is is an attempt to create artificial scarcity. I also think Amazon should wait until the software is ready prior to release, to make sure early adopters do not get a crappy first impression. Lastly, I’ll request Amazon to bring the jobs back to the USA. We’ve sent enough work to China/India. Let’s help our own country/people out.

    • AFTVnews says:

      There’s no artificial scarcity here. All the content is streamable with the Fire TV. The only thing missing is an easy way to find the content. The alternative would be to not let the content be streamable at all until they can update the software to have a dedicated section for the subscriptions. That seems like an unnecessary limitation. If you subscribe to a network that gives you access to show XYZ, and show XYZ comes up when you search for it on the Fire TV, it makes sense for Amazon to let you watch the show on the Fire TV at no charge. That’s what they’ll be doing.

      • clocks says:

        Ah, thanks. I misunderstood/misread “limited support”. I remember when Sling TV first came out, and there were rumors only a certain number of people would be allowed to join.

    • Reflex says:

      The point of using a team in Chennai is that they are offset 12 hours from Seattle. As a result development can utilize a “Follow the sun” model where when the team in Seattle goes home for the day, the team in Chennai picks up where they left off, and vice versa. This is a key part of rapid software delivery.

      The alternative is not “more american jobs”, its actually “less new products and updates” as you can’t work an american team 24/7 and few white collar workers are interested in working a graveyard shift.

      I have worked in software engineering for twenty years now, including at 2 of the big 5 tech companies. In my experience, companies with follow the sun models grow jobs in the USA faster than those who do not have that model as they are quickly able to scale products and services up and ultimately require many more staff on both sides of the world (teams are typically equal size for this to work).

  2. shwru980r says:

    I think it’s great that amazon is able to integrate the new content directly into the existing amazon interface instead of having to run a separate app.

  3. Vulcan195 says:

    AFTV2 SEARCH tool will not only pull up matches within providers like HBO, Starz, Hulu etc … but also allow you to add it to your Amazon Watchlist and directly play the movie from the Watchlist.

    • Keith says:

      But what if youre already an hbogo subscriber with hbogo installed on aftv? Will that integrate to the UI or must you get it through amazon? Hope its the former.
      Always thought amazon was onto something good by putting a lot of content right on the home screen but it only pulls up amazon content. Itd be much better if it included netflix and if you don’t have prime, the ui is an annoying mess that has little use but can be really annoying to sift through.

  4. Going Postal says:

    Here’s an idea – how about getting the software sorted *before* you launch a new service?

  5. BH14 says:

    Not for me but this impressive and cable companies must be really scared now.

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