Netflix, Amazon and other digital platforms may be new competition for traditional broadcast and cable networks, but they are also becoming valuable revenue sources as well.
On Wednesday, CBS said it was selling more of its library to Amazon for use on its Prime Instant Video Service. This is the second deal this week between the two companies. On Monday, CBS sold rights to stream its upcoming Stephen King miniseries “Under the Dome” just days after episodes air on the network.
Shows CBS owns that are headed to Prime Instant include the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” as well the Showtime dramas “The L Word” and “The United States of Tara.” Amazon’s Prime Instant already has distribution rights to other CBS library titles such as “Star Trek” and “I Love Lucy.”
Amazon has been very active in acquiring content as of late. It recently struck an agreement to become the online home of the PBS hit “Downton Abbey.” Amazon is also moving forward with an aggressive plan to create original shows as it attempts to take on Netflix, which also has a vast library of TV and movie content as well as its own original fare.
For companies such as CBS, which make most of their own shows, these platforms have become an important source of revenue. Last fall at an investor conference, CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves noted that “I Love Lucy” still generates millions every year in revenue.
“The world is a beautiful place, we’re going to get paid more and more and more,” Moonves said when asked about the appetites that Amazon, Hulu and Netflix have for content.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.