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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon's Lovefilm has announced that it has secured the exclusive UK and German rights to US TV series Vikings. The MGM show will premiere on Lovefilm Instant before it is aired on TV screens over here.

Rival Netflix has been pro-active in securing and producing its own exclusive content, including the forthcoming Arrested Development season four which hits the platform on 26 May, but Lovefilm has followed up on its Amazon Studios' pilot episode scheme by nabbing the rights of one of US cable TV's big debut hits.

All nine episodes of the show will be available on Lovefilm Instant from 24 May (15 June in Germany). It stars Travis Fimmel as notorious Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok, and follows his adventures as he explores and raids distant shores. The Usual Suspects' Gabriel Byrne also features.

"As the first time a TV series has arrived on Lovefilm Instant before airing on traditional broadcasting platforms, this is an incredibly exciting landmark in our history," said Chris Bird, director of film strategy at Lovefilm.

"We are serious about securing the best film and TV entertainment for our members and this demonstrates how content creators view Lovefilm as an effective broadcasting medium for their high-quality and premium entertainment."

Lovefilm Instant is available across multiple devices, including iPad, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U, and a number of smart TVs and Blu-ray players. Prices start at £4.99 a month.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 10 May 2013.