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Amazon Prime subscribers will lose the ability to stream HBO series in 2018 (update)

It’s time to make the switch to HBO Now

Game of Thrones 603 - Tyrion Helen Sloan/HBO

Just a week after Amazon confirmed that HBO series weren’t going to leave the streaming service, it turns out they are.

HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler told investors during an earnings call yesterday that the network was planning to remove its library of old and new shows from Amazon next year, as reported by Variety.

“I don’t think you’ll see us extend or expand our library programming on Amazon beyond the end of next year,” Plepler said.

Plepler told investors that HBO Now had seen a huge upgrowth in subscription numbers thanks to its partnership with AT&T’s DirectTV Now, a live programming streaming service that offers HBO Now at a discounted rate. The CEO said HBO wanted to focus on growing its stand-alone streaming service, and removing its content from Amazon is a good way to force those who want to stream HBO exclusive series to sign up.

Plepler’s comments regarding the removal of both old and new series from Amazon was later confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. When HBO and Amazon first struck a deal back in 2014 for approximately $250 million, the negotiated terms included that ongoing series like Girls and Game of Thrones would be available for three years after the shows concluded. Based on the new information Plepler provided investors, that would no longer hold true when the deal expired in 2018.

HBO Now currently costs $14.99 as a stand-alone package.

Update: Amazon has confirmed that Prime subscribers can pay an additional $14.99 a month to access the HBO Channel through Amazon Channels. This is different than “Prime members being allowed to stream HBO shows through Prime Video,” according to an Amazon representative.

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