There are a number of media companies preparing to release their own streaming services over the next 12 months. With big names such as Disney releasing an enviable library of content in the fall, the pressure is on for other contenders on the market to keep bringing in new subscribers for their own services. As a result, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max is investing a whole lot of money in obtaining exclusive streaming rights for major shows The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.

It’s reported that negotiations are almost complete for the purchase, and a possible price tag for these two series could be as much as $1.5 billion for all 541 episodes. This is a substantially larger amount than the company paid for Friends – which was $425 million. Similarly, NBC Universal paid $500 million for The Office. So the question remains – what makes these shows so expensive?

You may have noticed that these shows aren’t actually currently available to stream in their entirety on a platform. For example, UK based Netflix subscribers can only view the first 10 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, and are stuck looking for alternative options if they want to view the final two. By purchasing two incredibly popular sitcoms, which many people will want access to so they can watch reruns, HBO Max is clearly hoping that this will encourage people to keep a subscription open to their platform.

The Big Bang Theory recently ended its final season, and Two and a Half Men is airing reruns on US television. WarnerMedia is hoping to have the two series on its service by the time it launches in 2020. HBO Max is set to become available from spring of next year, and it will be a hub for many of the series currently owned by Warner. Furthermore, there are also plans for the service to broadcast original content, including a Gossip Girl reboot.

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