Upfronts ’19: Corus pairs with Amazon for multi-channel online offering

StackTV will see specialty channels including Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network offered for the first time outside of a traditional cable package.
EVL-TempWEB-3840x2160i (002)

Corus Entertainment is set to launch a multi-channel TV package through a newly inked deal with Amazon Prime Video Channels.

StackTV, a 12-channel streaming bundle consisting of Global, Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, W Network, HISTORY, Adult Swim, Slice, Showcase, National Geographic, Teletoon, Treehouse and YTV, will feature both live and on-demand content delivered via Amazon Prime Video.

For Amazon Prime members in Canada, StackTV will cost an additional $12.99 per month. The Amazon Prime SVOD service first launched in Canada in December 2016 and costs $8.99 a month. While Amazon does not disclose the number of Canadian subscribers, a recent MTM report pegs Prime Video’s penetration rate at 12% in Canada.

This is the first time these Corus specialty channels have been offered to consumers outside of a traditional cable package. Amazon did not specify exactly when Prime Video Channels would launch, offering only that it would be “soon.”

Amazon also announced Monday that it will add a number of other Canadian and international services and networks to its Prime Video Channels offering. Those include Super Channel’s four-channel network (for $9.99 a month), LGBTQ+ net OUTtv ($3.99), Hollywood Suite ($4.99), Blue Ant’s Love Nature ($3.99) and U.S. network STARZ ($5.99). Also included is Acorn TV, which recently co-commissioned the Ireland/Canada treaty coproduction Dead Still, NBCUniversal International’s unscripted streamer hayu ($5.99), MGM ($3.99), horror SVOD Shudder ($5.99), Smithsonian Channel ($3.99), Sundance Now ($6.99) and Nickelodeon ($5.99). These services will be added in the coming months, according to Amazon.

While this is the first time the aforementioned Canadian nets and services have been offered as OTT products via Amazon, the tech giant has been offering TV add-ons to its Prime Video service since late 2015. Greg Hart, VP of Amazon Prime Video, said in a statement that the launch of Prime Video Channels in Canada “allows us to team up with Canadian content producers and broadcasters like Corus Entertainment to build unique products like StackTV for our Canadian Prime members.”

Meanwhile, Corus president and CEO Doug Murphy said the partnership with Amazon will enable Corus to reach new audiences and provide ease of access to consumers.

This latest move from Corus comes as Canadian broadcasters and networks look for new ways to go direct to consumers as the industry increasingly moves away from linear. Among them is Bell Media, which overhauled its pay-TV strategy last fall by offering both HBO and the rebranded Starz network as direct-to-consumer products. The media company also launched a pair of ad-supported VOD platforms – CTV Movies and CTV Throwback – in December, and is expected to unveil further plans for its CTV “Super Hub” later this year. Meanwhile CBC has ramped up its investment in its Gem digital platform, which was rebranded and relaunched in December.

This story originally appears in Playback.