Netflix has revealed that it has secured the exclusive global streaming rights to Seinfeld.
All 180 episodes of the massively popular NBC sitcom will begin streaming on its service around the world sometime in 2021. Currently, all nine seasons of Seinfeld stream on Bell’s Crave service in Canada.
Netflix says it will offer 4K streaming of Seinfeld — the first time the series has been offered in that format.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix paid $500 million USD (about $662 million CAD) to obtain the global streaming rights to Seinfeld from Sony, the show’s distributor. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Netflix topped offers from rivals like Amazon, CBS and WarnerMedia.
Seinfeld is a boon for Netflix as it prepares to lose streaming rights to two other major sitcoms. In early 2020, WarnerMedia will pull Friends from Netflix to go on its HBO Max streaming service, while NBC will take back The Office and offer it as part of its own upcoming streaming platform in 2021.
While Netflix produces many originals shows and movies to draw in subscribers, a significant portion of its viewership also comes from these types of licensed comedy series. For example, U.S. Netflix users streamed 85 million minutes of Friends and The Office alone in 2018.
Image credit: NBC
Source: The Hollywood Reporter