Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has made a multi-year deal with HBO that should give Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) a headache: Amazon Prime Instant will soon stream seasons of the cable channel’s original programming, including a selection of older shows, in their entirety.
HBO provided a list of which shows Amazon Prime members will now be able to binge- watch, season-by-season, starting on May 21. The deal includes every season of older shows like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Deadwood,” “Six Feet Under,” “Carnivàle” and “Oz,” in addition to newer ones such as “Eastbound and Down,” “Flight of the Conchords” and “Enlightened.”
The Amazon Prime Instant catalog has also been expanded to include miniseries produced by HBO, such as “Band of Brothers,” “Angels in America,” “The Pacific,” “John Adams” and “The Parade’s End.” HBO says that “select seasons” of shows that haven't been canceled or ended yet, like “Boardwalk Empire,” “Treme” and “True Blood,” will appear on the streaming service as well.
Seasons of HBO shows such as “Generation Kill,” “Extras” and “Bored to Death” are also slated to appear on Amazon Prime Instant, as well as original movies like “Game Change,” “Too Big To Fail” and “You Don’t Know Jack.” In addition, the deal will include documentaries like the “Autopsy” and “Iceman” series, “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” and “When the Levees Broke,” and will last multiple years, eventually showing older seasons of newer shows such as “Girls,” “The Newsroom” and “Veep.”
The deal only includes HBO content that is at least three years old, and will not include the hit series “Game of Thrones.” Amazon says that HBO Go, the on-demand streaming service for existing HBO customers, will come to Fire TV before the end of 2014.
Netflix announced that it had signed a deal for “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz to “produce, create and develop new original series” for the streaming service. The service said it plans to raise its $7.99 monthly price for new members $1 to $2 in the coming months, and will eventually increase prices for all members.
Amazon increased the price of Prime membership from $79 to $99 a year in March, and announced streaming set-top box Fire TV for $99 in April. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a conference call on Monday that he viewed Amazon Prime Instant Video’s streaming service as “complementary” to his, rather than a direct competitor. An email requesting comment from Netflix was not returned.
Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey