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Amazon scores Downton Abbey as a subscription streaming exclusive from June 18th (update: timing leak)

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Anyone who's planning to catch up on Downton Abbey on their preferred service may want to plan a viewing marathon very soon: Amazon has struck a deal to become the exclusive home of the period drama on subscription-based streaming video platforms. Starting June 18th, only those Amazon Prime Instant Video members will have access to the third season and beyond on a commercial service without paying per show. The terms don't stop there -- seasons one and two will be pulled from other services later on in the year. While we're sure Kindle Fire owners will be happy, the move won't thrill those who want more of a choice as to how they keep up on their pseudo-historical intrigue.

Update: We've since gotten in touch with a source near the agreement that supports what The Verge heard: season one will disappear from Netflix on July 1st.

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Prime Instant Video to be the Exclusive Subscription Streaming Home for Carnival/Masterpiece Co-Production "Downton Abbey" on PBS

Subscription streaming of "Downton Abbey" - the most watched TV series of all time on Prime Instant Video - to become exclusive to Amazon

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ: AMZN)-Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with PBS Distribution that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive subscription home for streaming the Carnival/MASTERPIECE co-production "Downton Abbey." Seasons 1 and 2 of the award-winning series are currently available on Prime Instant Video, and are the most watched TV seasons of all time on the service. Beginning June 18, 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the exclusive subscription service for streaming the all-new Season 3 of "Downton Abbey", and later this year, no digital subscription service other than Prime Instant Video will offer any seasons of "Downton Abbey." Prime Instant Video will continue to be the exclusive subscription home through Season 4 and, if produced, Season 5 of "Downton Abbey."

"Our Prime customers have spoken-they can't get enough of the MASTERPIECE CLASSIC series 'Downton Abbey.' The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever," said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. "Prime Instant Video will soon be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for 'Downton Abbey.'"

For fans who want to own the original UK version now, all three seasons of Downton Abbey are available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray on Amazon.com, and digitally through Amazon Instant Video.

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