Amazon Signs Exclusive New Deal to Stream HBO Programming Beginning in May

By April 23, 2014
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Hot on the heels of their renewal of both “Silicon Valley” and ‘Veep,” not to mention two more seasons of “Game of Thrones,” HBO has some more big news for fans of the cable network.

Amazon just announced an exclusive deal with HBO to stream select original programming through their Amazon Prime Instant Video service, which is a crucial advantage in their battle with the ever-powerful Netflix.

HBO has been a key figure in the changing face of home entertainment and cable, as there has been strong desire for subscribers to simply pay for the network’s HBO Go service outside of having a cable subscription through any of the traditional providers. Many have been wondering if HBO would sign a deal with one of the streaming giants, and Hulu and Netflix have officially lost.

HBO Go

Here’s the programming from HBO that will be available through Amazon Prime Instant Video starting May 21st:

– All seasons of revered classics such as The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under, and of recent favorites such as Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords

– Epic miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End

– Select seasons of current series such as Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood

– Hit original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack

– Pedigreed documentaries including the Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke

– Hilarious original comedy specials from Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK and Bill Maher

That’s a pretty good assembly of programming, especially if you’ve been wanting to watch popular series like “The Sopranos” or “Six Feet Under,” but don’t have an HBO subscription to let you take advantage of the cable services VOD library or HBO GO. In addition, the press release notes, “The multi-year deal will bring additional seasons of the current series named above, along with early seasons of other series like “Girls,” “The Newsroom” and “Veep” to Prime members over the life of the deal.”

Entourage

There are some shows that aren’t included in this deal for now, such as “Entourage,” “Sex and the City” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” because those shows have been licensed to some basic cable networks, but they’re presumed to end up on Amazon once those syndication contracts expire. A few more shows that won’t be instantly available when the service transitions over include “Extras,” “Tales from the Crypt,” “Bored to Death,” “Hung,” “Carnivale,” “Oz,” “How to Make It in America,” “Real Sports,” and a handful of others.

In addition, HBO GO will become available on Amazon’s new boxtop device, Fire TV, before the end of the year. However, in order to use HBO GO to watch any current seasons of HBO’s original series, you’ll still need an HBO subscription from your cable provider.

Since this deal doesn’t include “Game of Thrones” or any of the current seasons without an HBO subscription, this isn’t exactly a crushing blow to Netflix, but it’s definitely a setback for the dominant streaming service of movies and television. Hopefully this is a move towards bringing down the cable provider giants that screw us all over every single month.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.