The Grand Tour
Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in The Grand Tour, a major part of Amazon's increased spending in the UK TV marketAmazon Prime/ PA

Amazon will up its challenge to rivals such as Netflix and BT by adding more than 40 TV channels to its UK streaming service on Tuesday (23 May).

The US online giant will offer individual subscriptions to more than 40 channels through a new venture called Amazon Channels, which will include ITV and live sport for the first time.

The price of the channels range from £1.49 to £9.99 a month, with subscribers choosing and paying for individual services, rather than for a bundle as with the traditional pay-TV model used by Sky.

The move signals another step in Amazon's UK TV ambitions following its heavy spending on The Grand Tour, its exclusive car show fronted by the former BBC Top Gear presenting team. Streaming is a part of the Amazon Prime subscription package, which includes faster delivery and other services designed to increase customer loyalty.

However a number of the UK's major broadcasters have declined to join Amazon's service.

Sky and BT, which share rights to all the major club football competitions and have exclusive deals for some of the best American dramas, are bidding to attract subscribers to their own pay-TV packages rather than allow Amazon to become their distributor.

Other top broadcasters such as Channel 4, UKTV, the BBC-backed broadcaster behind Dave and Gold, and Viacom, the owner of Channel 5, are also not on Amazon's roster.

At launch, Amazon is offering channels including Gold Rush broadcaster Discovery and its Eurosport subsidiary, which will lead to Amazon offering live sport for the first time globally, starting with the imminent French Open and Olympic coverage from next year.

Other channels include NBC Universal's reality TV service Hayu, which has shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and The Real Housewives franchise, and Amazon's own Bollywood channel Heera.

There will also be films from providers including the UK's British Film Institute and Hollywood studio MGM, which has movies such as The Hobbit.