Rumor mill: Amazon discusses online TV rights with 3 major media companies

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) reportedly looked into licensing rights to deliver some live TV online, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has also been said to be developing a set-top box that would stream video over the Internet, but it's not clear how closely the two projects are related, the Journal reports.

The online-retail giant has approached at least three major media companies about online TV rights, the Journal reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

If the report is true, it would add Amazon to a dynamic list of companies reportedly or admittedly seeking such rights that could be used to offer an online or over-the-top pay-TV service. Tuesday, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) left that list when it agreed to sell its Intel Media unit to Verizon (NYSE: VZ). So far, the media companies who control most of the pay-TV networks have been reluctant to license those online rights.

An Amazon spokesperson downplayed the report's implications. The company is "not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service," an Amazon spokesperson told Variety and other news organizations.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal had this story (sub. req.)
Variety had this story

Related articles:
Verizon agrees to buy Intel's OnCue OTT project 
Sony to start testing online TV service this year
Virtual MVPD? Maybe next year, media chiefs say