Friends might be leaving Netflix next year, but the streaming service just landed another giant beloved series: Seinfeld.
Seinfeld will be available to stream on Netflix beginning in 2021, the company announced today. It will also be available to stream in 4K. That’s when the show’s contract with Hulu (now owned by Disney) comes to an end. It’s unclear how much Netflix paid for the show, but it was rumored to be in the same wheelhouse as WarnerMedia’s Friends deal, which was reported at $425 million.
“Seinfeld is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show,” Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Although Seinfeld is a WarnerMedia-owned property (it’s similar to Friends), Sony Pictures Television ended up with the rights to the show. Rumors suggested that Netflix was bidding on the series alongside WarnerMedia (HBO Max), Comcast (an untitled NBCUniversal streaming service), and Hulu. The original deal for Seinfeld in 2015 cost Hulu $160 million.
“Seinfeld is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show.”
It’s an important move for Netflix, which lost two of its biggest licensed series: both Friends and The Office will return to their original homes and stream exclusively on HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s streaming service, respectively. Netflix was reportedly aggressively pursuing Seinfeld as bidding occurred, according to the Times.
Seinfeld co-owners, including WarnerMedia, CBS, Jerry Seinfeld, and series co-creator Larry David will share in the revenue from the Netflix deal, according to the Times. Sony will also receive a “significant percentage as the show’s distributor,” the Times reports. Jerry Seinfeld already has an ongoing relationship with Netflix, with his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and a special with the streaming service.
With Seinfeld, The Office, and Friends all set for the next few years on different streaming services, there are a few big-time network shows left to be picked up by streamers. Both The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men are expected to go to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max for a rumored deal of more than $1.5 billion.