Rogers Communications Inc. is stepping up its bet on online streaming with a deal to bring Amazon.com Inc..'s original TV shows to Canada.
The Shomi TV service, co-developed by Toronto-based Rogers and Calgary-based Shaw Communications Inc., will feature programs produced by the e-commerce giant, including the series Transparent, which won two Golden Globe Awards last week.
The deal highlights how coveted Amazon's original programming has become. It will add exclusive shows to Shomi's line up that will help it compete with Netflix Inc. and BCE Inc.'s Crave TV streaming service. Shomi, which was introduced last year, is available to Rogers and Shaw Internet or cable subscribers.
Amazon won its first major television awards last week with Transparent, a show about a Los Angeles family who discovers their father is transgender. The company also said last week it would start making feature-length films for theatrical release.
The Amazon shows will be distributed in Canada through an agreement with Sony Pictures Television, Shomi said.
Amazon's original programs are available for online viewing by customers of its Prime service, which costs $99 a year and also includes free, two-day shipping on products available on the website. Amazon's streaming service isn't currently available in Canada.