Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In: Amazon Signs Deal to Stream HBO Shows
Source – Take that, Netflix. Beginning on May 21 the multi-year agreement will enable Amazon Prime subscribers to stream series including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, and later — about three years after episodes initially air — Girls, The Newsroom and Veep. In addition, by year end Amazon will offer HBO GO on its new Fire TV platform. (It’s already available to HBO subscribers on other devices including Google’s Chromecast.) The shows will still be available on HBO’s platforms, but the companies say that this is the first time the premium pay TV channel’s shows have been licensed to an online-only streaming service. “As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment,” HBO EVP of Business and Legal Affairs Glenn Whitehead says.
Amazon shares are up 1.4% pre market, and Netflix is down 2.7%, following the announcement. That suggests investors didn’t fully accept Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ claim on Monday that the streaming video providers can peacefully coexist. “It’s a very much not a zero-sum game and we are building this ecosystem together that’s about Internet video and the more players there are in Internet video, the bigger that ecosystem gets,” he said. “The big theme is Internet video is taking share away from linear video. So we are all participating in that transformation.” He has more mixed feelings about HBO: In January he joked that HBO chief Richard Plepler’s Netflix password was probably: “Netflix bitch.”
Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says HBO probably made its deal with Amazon, instead of Netflix, because there’s less overlap among their subscribers. Still, it’s “clearly a negative for Netflix, given the high profile nature of the HBO content” and could “somewhat limit” the streaming company’s just-announced plan to raise its prices for new customers. He notes, though, that HBO and Amazon released few details about the deal terms and that it doesn’t include all HBO shows.
Fuckin’ internet is right, Tony. Last week I wrote about how I didn’t trust Amazon anymore because they had the craziest person in the world Gary Busey pimp their TV product. I take all that back now. Any streaming service that gives me another outlet to watch my pal Tony is alright in my book. Why Netflix never signed this deal is beyond me, but it’s their loss. HBO has the best shows to offer to a streaming service, and the biggest advantage is their rewatchability factor. I’ve watched The Sopranos three times from beginning to end and if I get sick this weekend I could start all over and have just as much fun. Plus, the list of older HBO shows is the television version of murderer’s row. The Sopranos. The Wire. Deadwood. Oz. Entourage. The Life and Times of Tim. Six Feet Under. And that’s just my personal short list. If you can’t find a show to fall in love with and watch over and over on that list then you hate television. Simple as that. Amazon Prime just pulled a game changing move. Watch your ass, Netlifx.