HBO and Just Struck a Streaming Deal. Is It Time to Sell Netflix, Inc. Stock?

After years of trying to find a way to bring more of its content to streaming services, HBO last week struck a breakthrough deal with (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) that will allow Prime members to stream programming that's at least three years old. Should those who own Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) stock be worried?

Host Ellen Bowman puts this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Nathan says the deal makes sense on multiple levels. For HBO, the very idea of better monetizing old programming is a win. If Amazon customers also come to enjoy the content to the point that they become a cable subscriber, all the better. For Amazon, having HBO programming makes a stronger case for its high-margin Prime service.

And what of Netflix? Nathan says that the team-up isn't a mortal blow for the streaming sensation, though it probably behooves CEO Reed Hastings to stop taunting HBO in earnings announcements. Tim agrees while also noting that Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) chief Jeff Bewkes has spent years teasing Netflix as a second-rate content provider. Hastings' response? Spend hundreds of millions to make acclaimed originals such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

Where does that leave investors? Tim says owners of Netflix stock have nothing to fear for now. But that could change were Amazon and HBO to decide to experiment with premium priced access to current-season hits such as Game of Thrones or Emmy winner Veep.

Do you agree? How do you expect this deal to pay off for HBO and Amazon, and do you believe it will crimp Netflix stock returns? Click the video to watch as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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