Amazon's 'live TV' plans for Europe

However a number of the UK's major broadcasters have declined to join Amazon's service. These will include channels from Discovery Communications, such as Eurosport for GBP 6.99 a month and Discovery Channel for GBP 4.99 a month, as well as ad-free access to ITV channels and catch-up for GBP 3.99 per month. Netflix's standard video on-demand service costs £7.49 a month while Sky's cheapest package of channels is £22.

This has the potential to be a cool new feature, but it's success will rely on Amazon managing to negotiate the inclusion of big-hitter channels to make it worthwhile for users to make the switch to Prime. Apple and Facebook have been trying to get TV bundles together, but so far only YouTube done it, told Harrington to BBC.

The UK and Germany are the second markets for Amazon Channels after launching in the U.S. in late 2015 with the likes of HBO and Starz, the network behind new hit series American Gods.

"This partnership underlines our strategic ambition to reach people across every screen", said Discovery Networks president Susanna Dinnage.

"We hope that by making Hopster available on Amazon Channels, we'll make it even easier for families across the United Kingdom to find and enjoy Hopster without an expensive TV contract".

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Prime customers now pay £79 a year or £7.99 a month to access the on-demand library.

Alex Green, MD for Europe at Amazon Channels, said the launch would allow Prime members in the United Kingdom and Germany "to choose to watch premium TV channels without having to sign up to a bundle or a contract, giving them the freedom to pay for only what they want to watch".

He added: "Beyond free-to-air services, the addition of Discovery's channels is hugely significant".

"This will force many households to think twice about their pay TV subscription and cut the cord as we've seen in the US".

Amazon Channels allows Amazon Prime members to add channel subscriptions for a low monthly subscription fee, available individually without the need for a bundle and without a lengthy contract. The larger worry for European broadcasters will be if Amazon now follows up their more ambitious North American move into live sport. In some countries, consumer associations are asking cable and IPTV providers to offer à la carte, rather than bundles.

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