Doctor Who, most other BBC shows dropping off Amazon Prime soon

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Feb 2, 2015, 12:31 PM EST (Updated)

Netflix and Amazon Prime have taken different strategies in the streaming game, and those differences will soon leave Prime users without one of the biggest sci-fi shows around.

The Verge is reporting that Amazon Prime’s streaming service will soon lose Doctor Who and the majority of other BBC programs, but not exactly for the reason you might think. It’s not that Amazon is running into negotiation issues with BBC, it’s that Amazon is apparently playing the hardest game of hardball out there.

Basically: While Netflix is typically trying to cast a wide net with varied third-party programming (along with some acclaimed originals), Amazon is aiming to diversify through exclusivity. BBC stands to make the most money by offering its programs to different services, and Amazon apparently made an extremely strong push for all-or-nothing exclusivity. The BBC didn’t blink, so  that means bye-bye Doctor Who.

As the original report notes, this is extremely annoying for Prime customers — but it’s also a strong indication that Amazon aims to be an even bigger player in the streaming business. Netflix is already the biggest service, so Amazon is trying to be the best, so to speak. They have exclusive deals to stream buzzy shows such as Justified, Orphan Black (which is under a different deal than the BBC stuff), Hannibal and The Americans, not to mention their own slate of ambitious original content.

It’s a gutsy move, and honestly, probably the best approach to grow into a legit rival to Netflix. Sadly, that approach means users might have to say goodbye to shows that are on other services. Oh well, we’ll always have our Doctor Who Blu-ray sets to fall back on.

(Via The Verge)