Customers of streaming service Amazon Prime probably treated themselves to a little dance on Thursday, when it was announced that the company had signed a deal with HBO to stream the likes of The Sopranos, The Wire, Girls and Veep. It represents the first time that HBO programming has been licensed to an online-only subscription service.
The first batch of shows will be made available from May 21, with Deadwood, Rome, Six Feet Under, Band of Brothers, The Pacific and Parade's End among the other shows being made available There is no mention of Game of Thrones.
"HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking, beloved and award-winning shows in television history," said Brad Beale, Amazon's director of content acquisition.
"Now Prime members can enjoy a collection of great HBO shows on an unlimited basis."
"We are excited to have our programming made available to [Amazon's] vast customer base," said Charles Schreger, HBO's president of programming sales.
Glenn Whitehead, executive vice president of business and legal affairs, added: "We couldn't think of a better partner to entrust with this valuable collection."
The deal represents a huge coup for Amazon, which is locking horns with Netflix in a fierce battle for quality programming. Before the deal, HBO rejected advances from Netflix and Hulu to stream its programmes.
The new deal is likely to mean that HBO's own streaming service, Go, will be made available on Amazon's Fire TV system by the end of 2014.
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