Amazon and HBO did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, nor its duration.
HBO Go, the network’s streaming service that’s currently only available to subscribers, will also be offered on Amazon’s new streaming device, Fire TV, likely by the end of the year. The $99 device streams online video, music and other content to televisions, competing with the likes of Apple Inc. and Roku.
The deal “positions Prime Instant Video as a viable competitor and potentially more appealing alternative to Netflix,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. “Through the HBO deal, in addition to its own original content, Amazon has the potential to offer close to 70 different series that we believe HBO owns outright, with multiple seasons available for the more successful shows. In comparison, we believe that Netflix’s original series figure is closer to 10, with up to only two seasons available.”
Glenn Whitehead, executive vice president of business and legal affairs at HBO, said that the company has always wanted to capitalize on its position as owners of its original programming.
The Amazon-HBO deal comes the same week that TV broadcasters are facing off at the U.S. Supreme Court with TV-over-the-Internet provider Aereo, which offers live broadcast television for a monthly fee.
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