Netflix Lands ‘Seinfeld’ Streaming Rights Starting in 2021
Monday, 16 September 2019
Netflix is set to lose “Friends” and “The Office” in the next couple of years. Yada, yada yada… the streaming giant is bringing in another former NBC sitcom to its service with “Seinfeld.”
Netflix announced on Monday that it landed the global rights to the comedy, which ran from 1989 to 1998, beginning in 2021. “Seinfeld” had been available on Hulu since 2015. Terms of the deal with Sony Pictures Television, which handles distribution of the show, were not disclosed.
“‘Seinfeld’ is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said. “It is as fresh and funny as ever and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time. We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix.”
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The deal is a boon for Netflix, which is set to face increased competition in the streaming arena from the likes of Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia and Comcast. Netflix has been spending ambitiously on content, though most of the attention is paid toward its fast-growing output of original series and films. But old sitcoms still remain hugely important to the streamer’s business model.
Just ask its competitors, who have been paying hefty sums to pry old sitcoms away from Netflix.
“Friends” is moving to HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from WarnerMedia that launches next spring, while “The Office” will move to Comcast’s forthcoming unnamed offering in 2021
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Even Disney, which is launching its streaming competitor Disney+ on Nov. 12, is heavily marketing it will have the first 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” from Day One.
“‘Seinfeld’ is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show,” said Mike Hopkins, chairman of Sony Pictures Television. “Now, 30 years after its premiere, ‘Seinfeld’ 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.”
The Los Angeles Times first reported Netflix’s deal for “Seinfeld.”
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