Amazon and HBO announced in a press release that they've signed up for a multi-year contract between them that will allow Amazon to stream shows like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The Wire. Over time, series like The Newsroom will become available, approximately three years after airing on HBO itself.
Going in the other direction, this new agreement also will have HBO GO available on Amazon's Fire TV device.
The fun will start on May 21st and you'll start seeing HBO content, which will range across shows, movies and events like comedy specials.
No, I did not miss mentioning Game of Thrones, because it's not part of this deal yet. And no, HBO did not look to other content providers to create this kind of an alternate streaming deal.
You won't see some content like Entourage because the show itself is already tied up in other contractual deals, and the like.
To be honest, this will be a trick act to pull off, to some degree. HBO needs to keep their own content lucrative and isolated, so they need to retain their hot programming for a while. But with the older shows like Sopranos having spent their strongly lucrative life cycle at HBO, it's not a bad deal for Amazon to get that and other kinds of popular content.
This gives Amazon a nice new niche to market. And HBO is balancing this act, hoping that consumers are not so patient that they just don't wait until HBO content finally lands on Prime.
But as any of you might know, most movie fans or entertainment fans eat up content as soon as it comes out, if not sooner, judging from all the preview, sneak-peek and other early looks at TV and movie productions. So I don't think patient consumers will be a threat to the network. They're few and far between.
" SEATTLE—April 23, 2014—(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with HBO, making Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming. The collection includes award-winning shows such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as mini-series like Band of Brothers, John Adams and more. Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO. The first wave of content will arrive on Prime Instant Video May 21. This is the first time that HBO programming has been licensed to an online-only subscription streaming service. This programming will remain on all HBO platforms.
In addition, HBO GO will become available on Fire TV, targeting a launch by year-end. HBO GO is HBO’s authenticated streaming service offering subscribers instant access to over 1,700 titles online including every episode of new and classic HBO series, as well as HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, specials and a wide selection of blockbuster movies.
“HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking, beloved and award-winning shows in television history, with more than 115 Emmys amongst the assortment of shows coming to Prime members next month,” said Brad Beale, Director of Content Acquisition for Amazon. “HBO original content is some of the most-popular across Amazon Instant Video—our customers love watching these shows. Now Prime members can enjoy a collection of great HBO shows on an unlimited basis, at no additional cost to their Prime membership.”
“Amazon has built a wonderful service—we are excited to have our programming made available to their vast customer base and believe the exposure will create new HBO subscribers,” said Charles Schreger, President of Programming Sales for HBO.
“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, who along with Schreger headed up HBO’s negotiating team. “We’re also excited to bring HBO GO to Amazon’s Fire TV. The features like unified voice search will provide a compelling experience for HBO customers.”
Beginning May 21, Amazon Prime members will have unlimited streaming access to:
- 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
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.
Earlier this month, Amazon introduced Fire TV, a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Fire TV also brings photos, music, and games to the living room. Meet Amazon Fire TV at http://www.amazon.com/FireTV."
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