CBS Corp. and Amazon.com are renewing their vows to remain under the dome together.
The companies on Thursday announced that they have renewed their licensing arrangement for the planned second season of the network's hit summer series "Under the Dome."
Since its June debut, the serialized drama, which is based on a bestselling Stephen King novel, has soared in the ratings. CBS quickly ordered a second season of the program from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, with the hopes of airing it next summer.
Financial details of the new agreement were not disclosed.
Under the deal, Amazon's Prime Instant Video will remain the exclusive home on the Internet for "Under the Dome." Amazon Prime members will be entitled to unlimited streaming of all the series’ episodes four days after their initial broadcast on CBS. Episodes of "Under the Dome" also will be sold exclusively through Amazon's Instant Video service.
One respected programming executive criticized the deal earlier this week, saying it undercut the pay-TV model by making episodes available too early on a rival distribution system. FX Networks Chief Executive John Landgraf called it "a bad change in policy for the larger [TV] ecosystem."
Networks rely on the huge cable and satellite subscriber fees to pay for the high cost of programming. But CBS likes the "Under the Dome" model because it was able to produce an expensive show -- which cost more than $3.5 million an episode --that was profitable from Day 1 by relying on international TV licensing fees and the money from Amazon.
"Under the Dome" has become the most-watched series of the summer with an average of nearly 15 million viewers an episode, according to Nielsen data. Amazon separately reported that more customers of Amazon's Prime Instant Video service have watched "Under the Dome" than other TV shows.
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