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Amazon May Sell DVDs of TV Shows Right After They Air

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said Monday that its subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs Inc., has signed deals with television networks including NBC Universal that could let them sell DVDs of television shows soon after they air.

The deals mark yet another offering for people looking to watch TV shows when they want rather than when they are televised.

They initially call for CustomFlix to sell DVDs of archived shows with a niche audience, such as NBC's " Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show" and "Antiques Roadshow" from PBS.

But Greg Greeley, vice president of worldwide media products for Amazon.com, said the networks could choose to offer DVDs of television shows within 24 hours of the first airing, much like Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) iTunes offers popular shows such as "Lost" for sale online soon after they air.

CustomFlix is hoping to appeal to broadcasters because it promises to hold the content and only create a DVD when a customer orders it, rather than forcing a network to risk producing thousands of DVDs that go unsold.

He said the technology also could allow users to download or stream the shows over the Internet, although he had no announcements about such plans right now.

The service comes as Amazon.com, the Seattle-based online retailer, is already seeing growing interest in DVD sales of entire seasons of television shows, Greeley said.

[NBC Universal is a joint venture of NBC, owned by General Electric (GE), and Vivendi Universal (V).]

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