Amazon to stream Stephen King's “Under the Dome” in CBS deal

Competition for streaming TV viewers is growing more aggressive, with Amazon and CBS on Monday announcing plans for the e-commerce site to stream the network’s new series, “Under the Dome,” three days after episodes initially air.

The deal is the first of its kind; streaming sites usually are made to wait months before networks offer seasons of shows currently airing.

“Under the Dome,” a 13-episode series based on a 2009 Stephen King novel, begins airing June 24. CBS.com will stream episodes for free for three days, after which Amazon Instant Video subscribers will have exclusive access.

For CBS, the deal promises more exposure for the show.

Battle for streaming supremacy

Amazon is stepping up its quest to snag Netflix subscribers. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to in June begin exclusively streaming the third season of the wildly popular “Downton Abbey,” currently airing on PBS.

Amazon says “Downton Abbey” is the most-watched TV series on Prime Instant Video. According to Reuters, competing streaming services will stop offering the show by July 1.

PBS

Amazon’s Instant Video service comes with a $79-a-year Prime membership. Though subscribers pay a lump sum, a Prime subscription boils down to $6.58 a month, compared to a $7.99 streaming-only Netflix subscription.

Amazon experimented with offering a monthly Prime subscription option last November, but quickly and quietly ended the trial.

Netflix isn’t exactly hanging back while Amazon inks new deals. The streaming behemoth has won rave reviews for its first foray into original content, the Kevin Spacey TV drama “House of Cards.”

Netflix

Netflix put the entire first season online so subscribers can either marathon the show, inhaling all 13 episodes in one go, or watch an episode each week. The company will also begin streaming Disney films after Disney’s current deal with Starz expires in 2016.

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