Amazon Prime Instant Video Takes Exclusive UK Rights To CBS’ ‘Extant’

Extant (FT)

Amazon Prime Instant Video has reached a deal with CBS Studios International for exclusive first run UK rights to CBS’ upcoming Summer drama series Extant. The show will premiere on Amazon Prime Instant Video UK on Thursday July 10th, less than 24 hours behind its broadcast in the United States on CBS.

Created by Mickey Fisher, Extant is a futuristic thriller about a female astronaut (Halle Berry) trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. Her experiences lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history. The drama series is being produced by Amblin Television & CBS Television Studios and also stars Camryn Manheim (The Practice), Michael O’Neill (The West Wing), Grace Gummer (The Newsroom), Pierce Gagnon (One Tree Hill), Hiroyuki Sanada (Helix) and Goran Visnjic (ER).

CBSSI“Extant is a bold and thrilling new series from some of the biggest names in entertainment”, said Chris Bird, Strategy Director for Amazon Instant Video Film & TV. “Having such a highly anticipated and star-studded show premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video is a perfect example of our ongoing commitment to bringing the very best in movie and TV entertainment to our customers in the UK.”

While Armando Nuñez, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Global Distribution Group, added: “We’re excited to see the first window of Extant stream on Amazon in the UK. With its stellar talent, unique concept and production auspices, Extant is sure to be this year’s television event in the U.S. and around the globe.”

This marks the first deal concluded post LA Screenings and also represents the increasing importance of Video-On-Demand services such as Amazon and Netflix. It was only a matter of time before streaming services started directly competing with linear broadcasters here in the UK for first window rights to key US television titles – something first hinted at when Amazon and Netflix started sending buyers to the LA Screenings last year.

APIVThe fact that Amazon UK went after and were able to secure such a high profile series as Extant – which was one of the hotter titles on CBS Studios Internationals slate at this year’s screenings – is notable and offers a glimpse at how seriously the streaming service views securing exclusive content for the UK market, where they are competing with not just Netflix but established broadcasters such as Channel 5, the BBC and Sky.

The deal also extends Amazon’s existing relationship with CBS. In the United States, the two previously partnered on Under The Dome (aired in the UK by Channel 5), with an unprecedented streaming deal which saw the series in profit before a single episode had aired. The two have extended that deal for Under The Dome‘s second season and have struck a similar pact for Extant in the US.

In the UK, Extant joins a growing line up of first run content on Amazon Prime Instant Video including Starz’s Black Sails, the TF1 series Crossing Lines, History’s epic drama Vikings as well as Amazon Studios original series Alpha House, Betas, The After, Mozart In The Jungle and Transparent.