Netflix and Amazon raise competition in online TV

NETFLIX and Amazon stepped up their rivalry in the video streaming market yesterday as they both unveiled deals with Disney.

Netflix, which last week announced plans to expand into the UK, said it extended its licence agreement with ABC, a division of Disney, to continue to stream TV shows over the Internet.

Amazon announced a new licensing agreement with the group that will allow its premium “Prime” subscribers to instantly stream a wide selection of library content from ABC Studios, Disney Channel, ABC Family and Marvel.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s online TV catch-up service iPlayer may soon be covered by the license fee, under new plans being considered by the government.

Although just 0.2 per cent of households watch TV exclusively through catch-up services, the government says it is monitoring the effects of the internet on viewing habits.