Amazon's staring contest with BBC Worldwide's North American chapter over the streaming fate of Doctor Who is over. The company announced this morning that it's signed a multi-year licensing agreement with the British broadcaster, one that'll make Prime Video the exclusive American streaming provider of the beloved sci-fi series' modern incarnation for the indefinite future. Prime members in the US will be able to watch seasons one through eight and their associated holiday specials on March 27th, and the ninth season — Peter Capaldi's second as the Twelfth Doctor — will be made available this fall. (The tenth season is scheduled to premiere in 2017.)
This is a major victory for Amazon in the company's larger battle with competitors like Netflix and Hulu. When Amazon started to yank Doctor Who and other pieces of BBC programming from Prime Video last year, it did so because its licensing deal allowed competitors access to the same content. That didn't fit within Amazon's focus on exclusive programming and original content, and the company decided it'd be better off ignoring the BBC entirely than having to share. It seems a year of the silent treatment was enough to open the door to an exclusive deal, and now Amazon has access to one of the BBC's flagship franchises. It's unclear how the Doctor Who partnership is going to affect the fate of other BBC programming on Amazon, but it could set an interesting precedent.