Netflix delivers cable-worthy television to streaming devices, and today HBO announced the reversal: It is cutting the cord and heading to streaming. The subscription cable giant signed a deal with Amazon (sorry Netflix), and now with Amazon Prime Instant Video you can binge-watch "The Sopranos" sans TV.
The move, announced Wednesday morning, is the first time that HBO has licensed its content to an online-streaming service. Prime subscribers will now have the ability to stream "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "Six Feet Under," "Deadwood," "Eastbound and Down," early seasons of "True Blood" and "Boardwalk Empire" along with mini-series such as "Band of Brothers" among others.
Viewers who want to watch HBO's newer series like "Veep," "Girls" and "True Detective" will have to subscribe to the cable service. Those shows will not be available on Prime Instant Video until three years after they originally aired. The deal also included making HBO Go, the streaming service offered to HBO subscribers, available on Amazon Fire TV by the end of the year.
This is a blow to Netflix who, according to Yahoo, has long desired to add HBO to its streaming service. In 2011, CEO Reed Hastings told a Q&A session that the show he'd love to add to Netflix was HBO's "The Wire." Netflix now boasts hits like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," and Hastings reportedly has said the company's goal is “to become HBO faster than HBO can become.”
Though Jeff Bezos may have won this "streaming" round, Amazon didn't take the entire roster of HBO award-winning television. Certain well known titles are not streamable via Prime Instant Video, including "Sex and the City," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage" and early seasons of HBO's smash-hit du jour, "Game of Thrones."