Amazon is deep into negotiations on a deal to acquire MGM, the studio that’s home to James Bond for about $9 billion. The Information first reported the recent talks.
According to Variety, word has been circulating that Amazon and other firms have been eyeing MGM for quite a while. Representatives for both MGM and Amazon declined to comment on the reports Tuesday morning.
Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and other media sources mentioned in December that the company was searching for a buyer.
Variety said word of Amazon’s interest in the firm began to surface over the weekend. Information became more concrete late Monday regarding a potential Amazon-MGM deal in the $7 billion-to-$10 billion range.
One other point of interest is that a number of recent MGM films are already set to come to Paramount+ from Epix in June as part of a pre-announced deal. MGM films have been available on Amazon Prime Video through a separate deal with Epix, but will be leaving in June as part of the new Paramount+ deal. There is no word how an Amazon-MGM deal would affect the Paramount+ move or any other pre-existing streaming contracts.
At the present time, Amazon has more than 200 million Prime members internationally. Jeff Bezos has told investors that about 175 million of those have streamed Amazon Prime Video content over the past year.
The MGM library houses about 4,000 film titles. The library, which includes the “Rocky” and “Creed” film franchises, “The Hobbit” film series, the historic “Pink Panther” films, and, of course, the James Bond franchise, would be included in the thousands of motion pictures that would be part of any acquisition of the MGM studio and library.
More than 17,000 episodes of programming from MGM Television would also be included in the deal. The studio is currently producing or co-producing tons of current broadcast and streaming programs including “The Handmaid’s Tale” for Hulu, “Survivor” for CBS, “Shark Tank” for ABC, “Clarice” for CBS/Paramount+, and the upcoming Willow series for Disney+, among others.
Other series in its history include titles like the “Stargate SG-1” franchise, “Vikings”, “Fargo”, “Fame”, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, “The Outer Limits”, “CHiPs”, “The Twilight Zone”, and many others.
According to Variety, Amazon spent about $11 billion on TV shows, movies and music for Amazon Prime services in 2020, an increase of about 40 % over 2019.