TCA 2019: Amazon Seeks to Play on Global Content Field

Pasadena, Calif. — Amazon Prime Video will remain aggressive in the development of original domestic and international content while continuing to play in the live sports arena, the company’s executives told writers gathered at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Wednesday.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke—speaking during the streaming service's executive session along with studio co-heads of television Vernon Sanders and Albert Cheng—said the company is riding strong momentum heading into the year as it delivers original scripted content like its Emmy-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as direct to consumer original movies, documentaries and reality series.

To that end, Salke said the network has renewed its espionage drama Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for a third season, although she would not reveal any new details regarding Amazon's highly anticipated Lord of Rings project.

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“We’re consistently taking a curated approach to our roster and slate, and focus on supporting visionary creators,” she said.

On the international front, the network has greenlit more than 20 international series originating from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and Mexico. “Our international productions are such an important part of our business that we continue to expand every day,” she said.

Amazon will also remain a player in the area of live sports. Cheng, who is also Amazon Studios' chief operating officer, said that it will continue to experiment in the sports world as part of its overall content strategy. The service currently streams live Thursday Night NFL regular season games and holds exclusive British broadcast rights to English Premier League soccer matches.

“For us as a company we’re in it and we’re experimenting,” Cheng said. “What we’re trying to do is find out how our subscribers are responding to it. For the most part we’re dipping our toes in the water at this point.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.