In a move that is sure to please many—though definitely not Netflix—HBO has entered into an agreement with Amazon to stream many of its biggest hits over the Prime Instant Video service. Beginning May 21, you’ll no longer have to have HBO or access to an HBO Go account in order to stream original content such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, and Flight of the Conchords. All you’ll need is an Amazon Prime membership.
This is a sharp blow to Netflix—as Jason O. Gilbert notes at Yahoo, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long hoped to acquire HBO’s original series for his streaming service. But Hastings has also described HBO and Netflix as fierce competitors: “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become Netflix,” he said last year.
There are a few caveats to the exciting news: Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Entourage are not included in the deal due to pre-existing syndication deals. Neither is Game of Thrones (“too valuable” to HBO, apparently) or newer series like Girls and True Detective (these will be available on Amazon Prime three years after their original air date).
But if you’re an HBO-less viewer who has longed to catch up with Tony Soprano and Omar Little* and hated waiting for the next disc in your queue to arrive in the mail, this deal is great news. You can check out the full details of the announcement here.
Correction, April 23, 2014: This post originally misstated Omar Little's last name.