Netflix Buys Streaming Rights for ‘Seinfeld’

All these new shows are pretty good. ‘Stranger Things’, ‘House of Cards’, ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Ozark’, ’13 Reasons Why’; people like them. But you know what really gets people going? It’s the crème de la crèmes of the sitcom-television crop. The old stuff. ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Friends’, ‘The Office’. People love that shit.

There’s now some big news that Jerry & Elaine & George & Kramer have a new housemate in town in the form of Netflix. The company has reportedly purchased all 180 episodes of the Emmy-Award winning ‘Seinfeld’ from Sony Pictures Television to begin streaming from 2021 in a 5-year deal.

Reports suggest that the figure Netflix paid exceeds the US$500 million that NBCUniversal paid for ‘The Office’, and the US$425 million WarnerMedia paid for ‘Friends’. Netflix’s bid topped those from Hulu, Amazon, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and Viacom, but can be justified thanks to their 150+ million subscribers who will likely foot the bill.

Why is Netflix paying more than half a billion dollars for the rights to ‘Seinfeld’? There’re a few reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, streaming is the future of TV. Related to this is the fact that a large part of the streaming business now revolves around old TV shows. And finally, Netflix recently lost two of its biggest licensed series in the streaming war – ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’. If that’s not bad enough, a number of would-be Netflix competitors have been pre-emptively pulling their content from the platform to reserve it for their own emerging streaming services.

“‘Seinfeld’ is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show,” Sony Pictures Television Chairman Mike Hopkins said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “Now, 30 years after its premiere, ‘Seinfeld’ remains centre stage.”

We hope you enjoy watching “the show about nothing”.