Hulu has secured the rights to show the entire Seinfeld catalog, a deal that reportedly cost the video streaming company nearly $180 million – yep, that’s getting on for a million bucks per episode.
The deal, revealed by Variety and said to be the priciest acquisition in Hulu’s seven-year history, came just over a month after reports suggested the VOD outfit was in a bidding war with rivals Amazon and Yahoo to secure the rights to the hit comedy show.
Updated 6/25/15 by Ryan Waniata: After months of waiting, all 180 episodes are Seinfeld are now locked and loaded on Hulu, ready for your streaming pleasure. However, as you may have guessed, only paying subscribers will have access to the episodes, enticing Hulu users to throw down the $8 per month subscription fee over the summer, a time when Hulu’s biggest selling attraction, new episodes of current network series, are on holiday until the fall.
For Seinfeld lovers who don’t have Hulu’s premium service: Go to Hulu’s website with a credit card in hand, yada, yada, yada, you’ve got every Seinfeld episode ever created at your fingertips.
The arrangement means a major payday for distributor Sony TV and original producer Castle Rock, as well as individuals behind the famous “show about nothing,” including co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.
It’s certainly taken a while for the entire Seinfeld catalog to land in the hands of a video streaming outfit, though that’s likely down to its distrubutor and creators happily squeezing every drop of revenue out of it via DVD releases and syndications deals over the years. Evidently, those behind the sitcom now feel the time and price is right to send the show off to a new platform.
Hulu will be hoping its newly acquired Seinfeld catalog will appeal to not only older fans of the NBC comedy, but also a whole new generation of younger viewers who missed it first time around and may up to now have only caught a few episodes on DVD or via cable, or possibly on Sony’s own Crackle service, which streams select episodes of the show.
Seinfeld revealed last year that Netflix had also been interested in securing the rights to the show. It’s not clear why the talks didn’t work out, though late last year the company revealed it’d inked a deal for another big comedy hit from the same era, Friends.
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