It's official: Amazon wins after striking deal with HBO

Faith Merino · April 23, 2014 · Short URL:

HBO content will be available on Prime, making Amazon the first SVOD service to get HBO shows

It’s unofficially official: Amazon has won. It’s won the subscription video-on-demand wars, it’s won the content wars…it’s won the Internet.

Amazon announced today that it has landed the much-coveted role of the first subscription video-on-demand service to host HBO content. NOT JUST ON INSTANT VIDEO. ON PRIME. ARGLE BARGLE…

What this means is that Prime subscribers will now get (some) access to the walled HBO garden and will be able to stream episodes of legendary HBO shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, Big Love (squeak!), Deadwood, Oz, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, and Enlightened.

Even more amazing: the content isn’t even limited to old shows. Prime subscribers will also be able to watch early seasons of currently running shows, including True Blood (squeak!), Treme, and Boardwalk Empire. (I went through a pretty harrowing True Blood phase from which my loved ones are still recovering. I know the writing sucks and the plot is super cheesy, but everyone on the show is so damned attractive…)

Older episodes of Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep will be available on Prime three years after they air.

Prime will also get tons of other older HBO content, including epic miniseries like Band of Brothers, Angels in America, John Adams, The Pacific, and Parade’s End; as well as original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack. Subscribers will also get original HBO documentaries like Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke.

All of this to say: still no Game of Thrones. But we’re one step closer!

This is huge for Amazon. HBO has long been reluctant to license any of its content to a subscription video-on-demand service, so it’s been understood that the first SVOD service to get HBO content will have scored an epic win. Until now, if you wanted to watch season one of Big Love or The Sopranos, you had to buy individual episodes, which were available through Amazon Instant Video for $2 a pop.

Yeah. I spent like, $60 on two full seasons of True Blood when I was on maternity leave. What of it?

Quick—you say—watch as many episodes of The Wire as you can before HBO realizes what it’s done!

Calm down. The deal is a multi-year licensing agreement that gives Amazon Prime rights to license the shows for the next few years (we’ve reached out to Amazon to get more concrete details on when the contract expires).

In addition to all the new content, HBO Go will be available on Fire TV by the end of the year.

“As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment. Given our longstanding relationship with Amazon, we couldn’t think of a better partner to entrust with this valuable collection,” said Glenn Whitehead, Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, in a statement. 


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