Update: Amazon denies report that it plans pay TV service with live channels

Update, Wednesday morning: Amazon issued a statement denying the Wall Street Journal report.

“We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” said Amazon spokesman Drew Herdner in an email.

Original post: Some of us already buy our groceries from Amazon, so why not send the monthly TV payment to Jeff Bezos, too?

amazonsignage2Amazon is talking with big media companies about licensing their live television channels for inclusion in a new paid TV service from the Seattle company, the Wall Street Journal reports this afternoon, citing anonymous sources.

The paid television service would go beyond the streaming content currently available through Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, which is available as a no-extra-charge add-on to Amazon Prime subscribers.

The WSJ cautions that Amazon’s initiative is still in the early stages of development, and faces significant challenges, including the lucrative nature of the relationship between cable companies and television networks.

But the reported talks demonstrate the lengths to which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would be willing to go to make a mark in media and entertainment — especially if such a service were to be combined with Amazon’s long-rumored set-top box. That product was originally expected as early as last fall, but was reportedly pushed into this year.