Netflix acquired streaming rights to the iconic 1990s sitcom, Seinfeld. After losing two of their most popular NBC comedies, Friends and The Office, the streaming service emerged as the main contender for the Seinfeld library.
Netflix will be the first exclusive global distributor for the entire Seinfeld collection beginning 2021, as per the company’s latest deal with Sony Pictures Television. This is the first time that all 180 episodes of the series will be available on the same platform worldwide, in 4K definition.
All 180 episodes of the Emmy-Award winning Seinfeld are coming to Netflix — worldwide! — starting in 2021 pic.twitter.com/tLvcCKH4vl
— Netflix US (@netflix) September 16, 2019
Hulu currently has the streaming rights for the series in the U.S. The Emmy winning show made its debut to streaming services with a $150 million-per-year deal with Hulu, which expires in 2021. Amazon owns the rights to stream in other territories internationally, but soon this will all be consolidated under the new Netflix agreement.
“Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against. It is as fresh and funny as ever and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. “We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix.”
This acquisition is especially important to the streamer with the loss of Friends to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and The Office to Comcast’s upcoming streaming platform. Users in the U.S. watched over 85 billion minutes of both the shows, which is equivalent to about 25 hours for every Netflix subscriber in the country, according to the Nielsen consumption data. Seinfeld is also said to have done very well on Hulu, attracting a lot of viewers.
Netflix also has a $100-million deal with the show’s co-creator, Jerry Seinfeld, for his latest show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and two stand-up specials.
The critically acclaimed series was pitched to several services like HBO Max and CBS All Access. However, HBO Max’s budget took a hit with its $425 million acquisition of the rights for Friends, along with the company’s attempt to obtain rights to the Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, which is expected to cross $1 billion.
Mike Hopkins, Chairman of Sony Pictures Television described Seinfeld as, “a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show.” He believes that 30 years after its premiere, it remains center stage. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Netflix to bring this beloved series to current fans and new audiences around the globe,” he said.