Amazon are upping their game in the internet streaming business, with the online marketplace handing Viacom a massive cheque for the rights to such kids shows as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and more as the company looks to prove itself as a force to be reckoned with inthe online streaming world . Amazon have reportedly handed over more than $200 million to Viacom for the license to a number of kids shows, which it will begin streaming later this year.

The multi-million dollar deal includes offers for a host of shows from Viacom's Nick Jr channel, including the Dora franchise, Go Diego Go!, as well as other popular kids shows Blue's Clues and The Backyardigans. The contract also sees Amazon gain a huge chunk of the back catalogue of these shows, giving fans more choice than ever to watch their favourite kids programmes. Netflix had previously been in contract with Viacom to air the shows, but had nowhere near the amount of episodes at their disposal that Amazon do now.

Netflix previously owned the rights to air the likes of Spongebob and other Nick shows but with their contract expiring this year and Amazon moving in for the big money purchase, the company were resigned to losing the kids programmes, admitting that losing access to those shows would be a blow to the company. The Amazon-Viacom contract includes close to 4,000 TV episodes for the company to add to their rooster, all of which will be available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Amazon's streaming service is designed to work along with the rest of the site, and is available for free for subscribers to Amazon's $79-per-year Prime program that also includes better shipping times. The move will look to cement Amazon's place as a viable contender to sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

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Dora the Explorer was also included in the deal