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Amazon Says It Is Not Planning Pay-TV Service

Amazon.com denied reports that it is planning a new pay-TV service.The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday that the world’s largest Internet retailer was considering a new service that would offer live TV channels, like the ones now available through cable and satellite.Amazon says

Amazon approached at least three big media conglomerates seeking rights to distribute their TV channels online, the Journal added, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Bloomberg News reported similar plans by Amazon on Tuesday.

However, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener rebuffed the reports.

“We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” Herdener wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

Prime Instant Video is Amazon’s video-on-demand service which is free for members of the company’s Prime shipping subscription plan. It has thousands of movies and TV shows available to stream online, competing with Netflix.

Online video services like these do not offer live TV programming, especially not major sporting events, partly because the media companies that own the rights to such content are reluctant to release it on the web.

Despite that, some companies are trying to build Internet-based TV services with broader selection. Sony said earlier this month that it will begin testing an online service in the U.S. later in 2014 that will combine live TV programs with video-on-demand content.

Verizon agreed to buy Intel’s troubled web TV business on Tuesday and the telecom giant said it will use the deal to expand its own video services.

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