After losing Friends and The Office, Netflix has struck a five-year deal with distributor Sony Pictures Television to acquire the global digital rights for Seinfeld for reportedly more than half a billion dollars.
The streaming giant dropped the announcement on its US-based Twitter account and confirmed that that the entire collection of the classic NBC comedy sitcom will be available for Netflix’s 151 million subscribers worldwide in 4k Ultra HD starting from 2021.
The Emmy-award winning series, which ran for nine seasons until 1998, made its streaming debut with Disney’s Hulu for $130 million in 2015 and is currently available on Australian-based streamer Stan and Amazon Prime, among others, before exclusively heading to Netflix for the first time.
The iconic sitcom's creator and main character, Jerry Seinfield, already has his own show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and a standup special available on Netflix globally.
As streaming wars heat up against well-heeled rivals, the new deal comes at a crucial time for Netflix as it recently lost the streaming rights to two of the most beloved and most-watched sitcoms on its streaming platform in spite of creating its own original programming.
Soon to be home to popular hit show Friends, WarnerMedia's upcoming HBO Max has also sealed a deal for a reported $500m for all 10 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, starring Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco.
On Tuesday, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service titled Peacock won the rights to The Office and hopes to make a new version. Set to launch next April, it will also feature other shows like Parks and Recreation, Saved By The Bell, Punky Brewster and more.
New streaming services, Disney Plus, Peacock, HBO Max and Apple TV Plus, are all set to hit the market soon, intensifying a race to push the number of video subscriptions up and lock-in potential customers by buying big-money rights to favorite TV shows.
According to Nielsen consumption data, in 2018 US-based Netflix users watched a mind-blowing 85 billion minutes of The Office and Friends, which will have its own special 25th-anniversary celebration take place in Dubai next week.