Netflix subscribers hoping to binge-watch the longest-running show about nothing in TV history will have to find another streaming service to do so on, because Netflix has reportedly passed on the show. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Sony Pictures Television (who owns the rights to Seinfeld), are in “advanced talks” to sell reruns of the sitcom to a willing streaming service, but the most popular service isn’t among them.
Also in the same WSJ report is talk that a “person familiar with the matter” said that Netflix took a good hard look at buying the rights to stream Seinfeld last year, but ultimately passed. Earlier this year Netflix added another huge ’90s sitcom, Friends, to their library which is rumored to have cost the streaming giant $500,000 per episode for the right to stream it for four years. Sony is reportedly seeking an even higher cost for the rights to stream Seinfeld.
With Netflix not interested this effectively leaves Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and Yahoo! in the running to land the legendary sitcom.
Yahoo! recently made a splash by snagging the rights to Community from NBC, and it will now produce and exclusively air episodes on its own streaming service. Of the ‘big four’ streaming services, Yahoo! is still arguably the smallest, and nabbing the rights to Seinfeld would be a big boost to make their streaming content division more formidable.
Paying out the nose for a property that could pay off later sounds right up Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ alley, having built his Amazon empire by keeping profit margins exceptionally thin in the short term then paying off big in the long run. Amazon has recently struck deals for exclusive streaming rights for HBO Original Series’ Girls and The Sopranos.
Series creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David likely aren’t hurting for money, as the series has generated over $2.7 billion in revenue while its reruns have aired on TBS over the last five years alone, according to Warner Bros.Source: Wall Street Journal