Dealing a blow to rival streaming video service Netflix, Amazon has reached an agreement with HBO to stream episodes of popular shows such as “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” for Amazon Prime members, Bloomberg reports.
Current shows such as “Girls” will air previous seasons about three years after they air on HBO, Amazon said in a statement.
“The deal marks the first time that HBO’s TV shows will be available online to viewers who don’t subscribe to the premium network through cable-TV subscriptions. HBO’s prized library of shows strengthens the e-commerce giant’s lineup in the battle with Netflix, which has used original programs such as ‘House of Cards’ to draw online viewers,” Bloomberg notes.
The multiyear deal includes all seasons of “The Flight of the Conchords” and “Six Feet Under,” and some seasons of “True Blood” and “Boardwalk Empire.” “Game of Thrones,” a current hit on HBO, wasn’t mentioned as part of the deal, while shows in syndication, such as “Sex and the City" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm,” are excluded, the piece adds.
The shows will start streaming May 21.
“Having a blue-chip programmer such as HBO sign a deal with Amazon Prime validates the online video space in many investors’ eyes,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst for Bloomberg Industries.
The report adds, “HBO discussed a deal only with Amazon, and there wasn’t a bidding war for the online rights to the content, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the talks were private.”