comScore HBO Signs Licensing Deal With Amazon That Is Almost Great | The Mary Sue
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HBO Signed an Exclusive Deal With Amazon Prime That’s So Close to Being Great News

Now will everyone stop whining about the Prime price increase?


Piracy runs rampant on shows from premium networks, and no one knows that better than HBO. Game of Thrones continues to break piracy records, and HBO has finally, mercifully made a deal with Amazon to stream HBO content to Amazon Prime members… at least three years after it airs on television, because patience is the Internet’s strong suit.

Here’s the rundown of what they’re offering from the press release, thanks to Deadline:

The collection includes award-winning shows such as The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as mini-series like Band of Brothers, John Adams and more. Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO. The first wave of content will arrive on Prime Instant Video May 21.

This is great for Prime members who are fans of older HBO shows, because they’ll be able to watch all the episodes of The SopranosSix Feet UnderThe Wire, and more without an HBO-specific subscription. It’s likely to be a pretty good draw for Amazon’s new Fire TV box, which will include the content in an HBO app, but it could have been so much better.

On one hand, watching HBO’s backlog of content for free (assuming you already pay for Amazon Prime) sounds a whole lot better than buying DVDs or waiting for individual discs to come from Netflix. Seriously, not only does that interfere with your regular flow of movies, but how can you even watch TV like that? I require minimum two episodes per day in any serious binge-watch.

Unfortunately, HBO’s current shows like The NewsroomGirls, and Veep (which is amazing and was just picked up for a fourth season while its third is currently airing) won’t be available until three years after the episode airs. Not only is that a huge disappointment for fans who were hoping that a deal like this would offer them a cheaper way to watch their favorite shows, but it could cause a lack of viewers when those shows finally hit the service.

That, in turn, could be detrimental to future licensing deals, because it might give HBO a false impression that it’s a failed initiative altogether, when the timing would more likely be to blame.

Please, HBO, I’m begging you: please come through with a better version of this that doesn’t require waiting until way after the fact to watch things. I want to give you money for your shows, but I don’t want to buy some ridiculous cable package. It’s 2014—TV doesn’t need to work like that anymore.

(via Deadline, image via Thomas Hawk)

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