Amazon and PBS deal for kids programming helps boost investor confidence, share price

Amazon's continued strong relationship with PBS, in addition to new pricing options announced recently, likely will lead to strong second-quarter and year-end results, according to Jefferies, which rated the retail and SVOD giant a "buy" with a target price of $865, more than $100 above its current trading price.

The provider added to the depth of its children's programming by signing a new deal with PBS Distribution that gives the SVOD provider exclusive streaming rights to PBS Kids series including Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad, and Dinosaur Train, and two series that are brand-new to Prime Instant Video, Nature Cat and Ready Jet Go.

Neither PBS nor Amazon gave specifics on when new episodes of each series will be available on Prime Video. Amazon said in a release that the episodes will air first on PBS stations and will be made available via Amazon "after a period of time."

Regardless of the wait, Amazon is clearly angling for a content edge in the kids' market, which is popular with parents. According to a consumer panelist at the OTT Executive Summit in June, being able to select specific series that are their kids' favorite shows is a key factor in subscribing to certain SVOD services over others.

"In our view, the exclusive rights to these PBS kids titles give Amazon Prime an edge over OTT competitors," said Jefferies analysts in a research note on Tuesday. "…Our channel checks show that the latest number of TV seasons rated TV-Y and TV-G was 577 on Amazon Video and 184 on Amazon Prime vs. 335 on Netflix. Movies with the same ratings were 1,290 on Amazon Video and 278 on Amazon Prime vs. 368 on Netflix."

Jefferies said it expects to see more of these types of content deals "in the near term."

Earlier this year, Amazon promoted Mercy Street, a new PBS series set during the Civil War, by streaming the premiere episode to subscribers three days prior to its broadcast date, and made additional episodes available just seven days after they aired. The SVOD provider also streams all of PBS' Masterpiece series exclusively, such as Downton Abbey and Poldark.

Amazon closed Tuesday up $2.42, at $728.10, maintaining an upward bounce of around $10 that began following its Friday announcement of the deal. Amazon will report its second-quarter earnings on July 21.

For more:
- see this UPI article
- see the release

Related articles:
Amazon Prime may have 54M subscribers, must focus on retention, analyst says
Amazon promotes PBS series 'Mercy Street' with early premiere for subscribers
A Muppet always pays his debts – Sesame Street finds new home behind paywall

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