Media

Amazon lands exclusive HBO shows, but only streams them 3 years after they air

Fire TV

Above: Amazon's sleek-looking new Fire TV has a strong lineup of games from day 1.

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

HBO fans have a pretty good reason to get excited this morning: Amazon just signed a deal to become “the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.”

“Select” is the key word in that sentence. No, Game of Thrones programming won’t be available on Amazon just yet, and HBO’s popular shows — The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, etc — won’t be available on Amazon until three years after they first air.

So yes, this is great. It’s a nice step for HBO, which has struggled to expand beyond TV without angering cable providers. But HBO fans aren’t yet living the dream: It’s not like HBO Go was just opened up to the masses.

Amazon is the real winner in this case, as its brand new Fire TV now has a killer selling point over Apple and Google’s media boxes. As we wrote in our review of Amazon’s Fire TV, the device is “yet another media box in the vein of Roku’s devices and Apple TV. The big difference is that it centers on Amazon’s media library, although it also includes apps from Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, and others.”