Just days after it was announced that Sony sold exclusive global streaming rights for Seinfeld to Netflix for over $500 million, it closed another major deal for the influential comedy series. In a cable syndication deal, Sony has sold domestic cable rights for Seinfeld to Viacom.
This agreement will allow Viacom’s cable portfolio to air season nine of Seinfeld in October 2021. The portfolio contains major networks like Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land. Viacom will also be able to offer Seinfeld episodes on-demand through apps, websites, and other online platforms.
The financial details of this deal have yet to be released, although sources have explained that this is a multiyear syndication agreement.
“Seinfeld airing on Comedy Central and the Viacom networks brings together the greatest comedy of all time, with the best brands in cable,” president of First Run Television for Sony Pictures Television John Weiser said in a statement on Saturday. “This was a tremendous team effort and we are delighted to be working with the first-class executives at Viacom who are experts in programming and promotion. For a show about nothing, this is really something!”
This agreement comes in the wake of WarnerMedia’s extension of its syndication rights to The Big Bang Theory. This deal is reportedly a part of a record-setting agreement that also involved The Big Bang Theory’s first streaming pact.
Given the sharp uptick in new streaming platforms, it is unclear how the syndication market will adjust to an industry that is undergoing major changes. In general, streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu attract younger audiences, while cable networks attract viewers who skew older.
Media giants Disney, Comcast, WarnerMedia, and Apple all have announced their plans to launch streaming services in the coming months. This move will reposition them as competitors against Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. This has motivated some of these companies to pay extremely large sums of money in order to take their shows off of Netflix so that viewers will be inclined to visit their new platforms instead.
Sony has several reasons for wanting to invest in library titles but namely, the network lacks a streaming platform of its own. Viacom, on the other hand, has Pluto TV and will soon be a co-owner of CBS All Access following a deal with CBS.