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Amazon nets online rights to Downton Abbey

Amazon has inked a deal that gives it exclusive streaming rights to period drama Downton Abbey.

The first two series of the drama, which is made by NBC Universal’s Carnival Films, are the most-watched TV shows on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.

It has now inked a deal with PBS Distribution and taken exclusive US streaming rights to season three of the popular drama series, which debuted on PBS last month. That agreement is effective from June. Later this year it will also have exclusive online rights to seasons one and two.

Prime will also have exclusive subscription streaming right to the upcoming season 4 and, if produced, Season 5.

“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,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “Prime Instant Video will soon be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for Downton Abbey.”

Amazon says that the Prime Instant Video offering now stretches to 36,000 movies and TV episodes.