After announcing the deal in April, Amazon has today unleashed the first wave of HBO programming on its Prime Instant Video streaming service. Confined to the US at the moment, it includes select seasons of ongoing shows such as True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and Treme, as well as complete miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

In its battle with Netflix, Amazon has so far been unable to produce its own shows that match House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. While it has new homegrown content in the pipeline, the decision to supplement it with HBO programming– considered to be some of the highest quality TV shows around – could be an effective counterpunch.

Of course, HBO isn’t giving Amazon access to all of its programming – it would effectively kill its HBO Go streaming service and cable TV partnerships if it did – but it should be just enough to make the Prime Instant Video catalog more appealing to new and potential subscribers.

In the coming years, Amazon promises to add new and older seasons for HBO shows including Girls, The Newsroom and Veep.

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