Amazon Prime signs Fear the Walking Dead deal
James R | On 21, Aug 2015
Fear the Walking Dead will be available to watch online on Amazon Prime Instant Video… next year.
The companion series to The Walking Dead, which is set before the events of the hit zombie series, premieres in the UK on Monday 31st August. The show airs on AMC’s new UK channel, which will be available exclusively to BT TV customers – a deal that, with no cord-cutting subscription plan offered by the telecoms giant, means non-BT customers will not be able to stream it legally. For The Walking Dead, this is not usually a problem: Sky has snapped up the rights to that programme, with its OTT service, NOW, offering the show to non-Sky customers.
Enter Amazon, which has signed a multi-territory agreement with eOne (who handle the international distribution of AMC’s series) to the exclusive subscription streaming rights. Amazon is already the home of The Walking Dead following its initial TV broadcast – Seasons 1 to 3 are currently available, with four expected in October – so it was already in prime position to poach the spin-off for its SVOD line-up. The deal will see the show available on Amazon Prime Instant Video members in Germany and Austria the day after it airs on AMC in America. In the UK, Fear the Walking Dead will be added in 2016, following its broadcast on AMC’s UK channel.
The high-profile deal (announced by Variety) is reminiscent of Netflix’s agreement to snap up Gotham for worldwide subscription streaming last year, with the Batman prequel series only arriving on Netflix in the UK following its broadcast on Channel 5.
Fear the Walking Dead is executive produced by the team behind The Walking Dead – Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert — with David Erickson as showrunner for the series. Season 1 spans a short six episodes, with a second, longer season already commissioned. It will follow a family in Los Angeles, played by Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis, just as the virus outbreak occurs and panic spreads.
“Fear the Walking Dead is one of the most-anticipated shows in the world and companion to one of the most successful scripted dramas in the history of television,” says Jason Ropell, head of international content for Amazon Video. “We recently announced that we’re bringing Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May back together to create a hugely anticipated new motoring show exclusively for Prime members, and now we’re excited to add Fear the Walking Dead. Our goal is to add shows that Prime members love — we can’t think of two sets of shows with bigger or more passionate fan bases.”