No show is safe in the current streaming wars. With new streaming services on the horizon, everyone wants an exclusive property. The number of trades going on makes it feel like the NFL Draft. Now, the hit series Seinfeld is the latest to be drafted by Netflix.
The Show About Nothing
The streaming service revealed they will have exclusive streaming rights to the sitcom in 2021. The five-year deal is worth over $500 million. Upon hearing the news, fans rejoiced to know Seinfeld will be available in two years. “Yesssss I’ve needed to watch all of it for ages. Seen a lot of eps but never binged it all from start to finish,” Twitter user Maven said.
One fan had a suggestion following the show’s recent HD versions. “This would be great news except for one thing. The new HD versions of the show are reformatted for 16:9 instead of the original 4:3 aspect. This makes the show feel claustrophobic and awkward. Please, #Netflix, insist on HD version in the original 4:3 aspect and preserve history,” Twitter user thasnarkknight said.
Seinfeld made its streaming debut back in 2015 through Hulu. The streaming service dropped $160 million for a five-year deal.
No Soup For You
For Netflix, this is a strategic move to pick up another major franchise after losing two over the summer. In June, the service lost the streaming rights for The Office to NBCUniversal. The Office will remain on Netflix until the end of 2020. NBCUniversal spent $500 million to get streaming rights. In July, Netflix was dealt with another blow with the loss of Friends. Warnermedia picked up the show for $425 million. Friends will exit Netflix at the beginning of 2020. This only gives Netflix subscribers a few months to binge the series before its removal.
Seinfeld jumping to Netflix makes sense given the service’s relationship with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. In 2017, his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee moved to Netflix following its stint on Crackle. “When I first started thinking about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the entire Netflix business model consisted of mailing out DVDs in envelopes. I love that we are now joining together, both at very different points,” Seinfeld said in a press release. “I am also very excited to be working with Ted Sarandos at Netflix, a guy and a place that not only have the same enthusiasm for the art of stand-up comedy as I do but the most amazing technology platform to deliver it in a way that has never existed before. I am really quite charged up to be moving there.”
The deal didn’t just include the web series. It also features two standup specials and development on future Netflix programming. In 2017, Seinfeld released his first special for Netflix titled Jerry Before Seinfeld.
Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
Everyone at Netflix is excited for more Jerry Seinfeld on their service. “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. We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a press release. 4K streaming is a huge deal for 31 percent of Americans with 4K TVs. With more 4K TVs flying off the shelves, that percentage will rise.
Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins is also excited about Seinfeld‘s new home. “Seinfeld is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show. 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,” Hopkins also stated in a press release.
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