In the past few weeks, Amazon has started talks to buy scores of small television channels, several major program providers confirmed to NBC News. A representative for Amazon declined to comment, but hinted there will be much to say in the coming weeks about its efforts in online video.
Currently, subscribers to Amazon Prime get TV, movies and music, as well as free shipping on online purchases. They can also pay extra for premium channels such as HBO and Showtime, along with a host of niche-interest services on topics such as health or horror.
As traditional pay-TV providers scale down their offerings into cheaper so-called skinny bundles, Amazon is looking to scoop up smaller TV channels with minimal distribution in order to build itself into a video destination for every imaginable niche, with a particular focus on millennial audiences. Many networks have channels like these, including Turner Broadcasting's Adult Swim and Boomerang, or Viacom's VH1 and CMT.