According to Amazon, beginning on May 21, Prime subscribers will have access to:
• All seasons of: The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened, Flight of the Conchords and others.
• HBO miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End
• Select seasons of some series, including Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood
• A selection of HBO original movies, documentaries, and comedy specials
The biggest omission from the list is, obviously, Game of Thrones, the highly rated (for premium cable) fantasy series currently in its fourth season, which recently set a record for the largest swarm of BitTorrent users accessing a single pirated file at the same time.
Today’s announcement is a big departure for HBO, which in 2010 brushed off the idea of making its content available to anyone other than its own subscribers or those willing to pay for discs or digital downloads.
It may also take some of the wind out of the sails of those that had hoped for a stand-alone HBO Go service that would be made available to the public without requiring an HBO subscription. Though, if the deal proves profitable to HBO, perhaps it will eventually begin putting more of its newer shows on Prime, effectively turning the Amazon service into a sort-of stand-alone HBO Go.
Speaking of HBO Go, owners of the new Amazon Fire TV streaming video box thingy will also gain access to HBO Go, though they will obviously still be required to have a subscription to HBO Go (or have a friend willing to share their password).