Whenever a show becomes available to purchase the rights for, streaming services all start fiercely bidding, and Seinfeld is shaping up to be the next such example. The classic sitcom’s streaming deal with Hulu will be expiring in 2020, causing it to be on the market for a new home.
It’s expected that big names such as Comcast, Netflix and Warner Media will be bidding on the show, and obtaining the streaming rights for five years could cost as much as $500 million. This bidding war will take place as major platforms make efforts to take back their most successful shows from streaming giant Netflix. For example, Comcast paid $500 million to get back The Office for its NBCU streaming platform, and Warner Media invested $425 million in Friends for HBO Max. These two titles are the most popular on Netflix, so these competitors clearly want to take back some of the power.
Indeed, Warner Media is clearly working hard to build up a desirable catalogue of content ahead of its launch, as the company is also seeking to purchase exclusive streaming rights for The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. Considering Hulu paid ‘just’ $160 million for Seinfeld back in 2015, there is clearly an increasing sense of haste attached to purchasing popular shows ahead of launching new platforms or growing existing ones.
Netflix could well end up paying through the nose for Seinfeld in order to compensate for The Office and Friends leaving its service. However, its increasing demand for major hitters such as Stranger Things, and a constant influx of other original content, means the streaming platform isn’t going to drop out of the limelight any time soon.
Seinfeld is a sitcom named after the stand up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which follows the lives of four friends in New York City. Sony will be hoping to gain around half a billion dollars from the successful bidder in order to match up to the profits from Friends and The Office.
Read more about the show here.