Amazon and HBO have struck a deal to give Prime Instant Video subscribers free access to some of the premium network’s definitively classic series, including old favorites like The Sopranos and The Wire. HBO announced the content licensing agreement via a blog post this morning that explains how the deal makes Prime Instant Video “the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.”

Less than two months ago, the all-star network revealed that it was fully prepared to move to a purely broadband-delivered distribution model. The new deal with Amazon allows HBO to test the online streaming waters without committing to a standalone service.

The deal – which marks the first time HBO programming has been licensed to an online-only subscription streaming service – will make available on May 21 a variety of vintage HBO productions. In addition to the aforementioned series, Amazon Prime subscribers will gain access to episodes of Six Feet Under, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, and Treme, among others. In addition, users will be able to stream early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as mini-series like Band of Brothers and John Adams. 

Previous seasons of some of HBO’s most popular current titles such as GirlsThe Newsroom, and Veep will also become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, with release of the older episodes slated for roughly three years after their original airdates, according to the post. As part of the deal, HBO GO will also become available as an app on Amazon’s newly released streaming device, the Fire TV , by the end of 2014.

While the latest episodes of newer series and uber-popular titles such as Game of Thrones are still out of reach for Amazon Instant Video viewers, today’s deal marks a major move for HBO’s notoriously guarded vault of sought-after content. 

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