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HBO Go will be available on Amazon Prime — with a catch

Starting May 21, HBO Go will be available on Amazon Prime — though subscribers will only be able to stream older, not newer, shows.

There won't be dragons on Amazon Prime for three years, even after their union with HBO Go. Credit: Home Box Office There won't be dragons on Amazon Prime, at least not for three years, even after their union with HBO Go. From "Game of Thrones"
Credit: Home Box Office

Once upon a time people just had cable TV. It was horrifically expensive, especially given that you were a slave to whatever the thousands of channels saw fit to program. (That’s to say most of it was dreck.) Then came Netflix Instant, which was not only far, far cheaper but allowed one to become the programming master — or at least choose from whatever they have. (That’s to say most of it is dreck.)

But if you want more variety, you have to purchase other subscriptions to other streaming services. Hulu offers the vast gifts of (much of) the Criterion Collection. And there’s Amazon Prime, which till now has been like a mini-Netflix Instant.

Now Amazon is about get much more alluring. HBO and Amazon have reached a deal wherein the latter’s HBO Go service — the one that keeps crashing whenever everyone scrambles to watch the latest “Game of Thrones” — will be part of streaming service Amazon Prime. The service will launch on May 21.

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The catch? It will mostly be for older shows, like “The Sopranos,” “The Wire” and “True Blood.” New episodes of “Girls,” “Veep” and “The Newsroom” won’t pop up on the site for three years.

As it happens, no HBO show has been available on Netflix Instant — though if you’re one of the three who still rent out discs, you can still do it old school. But who does that, apart from this writer?

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
 
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