HBO Go, the premium cable network’s Internet-video service, is now available on Amazon Fire TV set-top box — an addition the e-commerce giant hopes will put the device on better footing against connected-TV rivals with holiday shoppers.
However, Comcast and Charter Communications subscribers — although they’re able to access HBO Go on other devices — will not be able to get the HBO Go service on Amazon Fire TV. “Comcast and Charter are not currently supporting HBO Go on Amazon Fire TV,” an Amazon rep said, adding that the company wants to encourage those customers “to reach out to Comcast and Charter for further information on availability.”
Amazon’s Fire TV is adding the service, available only to HBO subscribers with a subscription through participating pay-TV providers, under the companies’ multiyear content-licensing pact that made Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-based subscription VOD service for past seasons of HBO originals like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.”
Under the licensing deal for Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, HBO specified that episodes for shows currently airing on the cabler will not arrive on the service until approximately three years after premiering on the network — and excluded “Game of Thrones” entirely.
Now Fire TV users who also are HBO subs with major providers — other than Comcast or Charter — have access to all episodes of “Game of Thrones” (pictured, above) and other current programming. In all, HBO Go provides more than 1,700 titles, including every episode of the cabler’s series, original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, specials and a selection of movies.
In the spring of 2015, HBO Go also will be available on Fire TV Stick, Amazon’s $39 HDMI dongle that’s a response to Google Chromecast and the Roku Streaming Stick.
According to Amazon, since it launched the Fire TV this spring, the device has more than quadrupled its content selection, with over 700 apps and games now available. Those include apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, WatchESPN, Vevo, Pandora and Showtime Anytime.
“Given our longstanding relationship with Amazon, we’re delighted to bring HBO GO to Amazon’s Fire TV — offering our vast collection of award-winning TV series and movies to Fire TV users,” said Jeff Dallesandro, HBO’s VP of digital domestic network distribution.
Through Dec. 28, Amazon is selling the Fire TV box for $79 — a 20% discount off the regular $99 price.