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The new deal, which begins in 2021, will mark the first time one subscription video company will own global streaming rights to all 180 episodes of the series. The Disney-owned Hulu currently holds domestic streaming rights to the tune of $150 million per year, while Amazon maintains streaming rights in most foreign territories. Netflix will control both domains when Seinfeld changes hands in 2021. The show will also be available in 4K for the first time since hitting streaming platforms.
Jerry &— Netflix US (@netflix) September 16, 2019
All 180 episodes of the Emmy-Award winning Seinfeld are coming to Netflix — worldwide! — starting in 2021 pic.twitter.com/tLvcCKH4vl
Specifics of the deal were not disclosed, but the L.A. Times reports that Netflix shelled out a higher figure than the $500 million NBCUniversal spent for rights to The Office and the $425 million WarnerMedia paid for Friends. Both of those deals were also for five years, but they only included U.S. streaming rights.
The Seinfeld acquisition is a huge, badly needed win for Netflix, considering The Office and Friends were two of its most-streamed shows last year. The absence of those two sitcoms hinted at a difficult path forward for the company amid an increasingly splintered streaming landscape. But filling a Michael Scott-sized void with an equally beloved comedy may just help Netflix weather this storm.
- How to watch ‘Seinfeld’ online
- How to watch ‘The Office’ online
- ‘The Office,’ ‘Friends,’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ were Netflix’s top-streamed shows of 2018
Kahron Spearman is a music and film critic whose work can also regularly be regularly found in the Austin Chronicle.