Not only is NBC's Seinfeld still running strong in syndication, it's actually getting stronger. Backing up that statement is the fact that everybody's favorite show about nothing is about to strike a major deal with one of three leading video streaming services and, no, it's not Netflix.
According to WSJ, Sony Pictures Television is nearing a deal with a popular video on demand service in which it will sell reruns of its classic sitcom that brought fans hit phrases like “yada yada yada” and “Festivus for the rest of us.” Among the three bidders seeking a deal with Sony Corp. are Hulu, Amazon and Yahoo, all three of which are still reportedly strong contenders. The deal could be very lucrative for Sony, as the conglomerate is expected to pull in well over $500K per episode. With a total of 180 episodes, that will land them somewhere around the $100,000,000 mark.
Fans may be surprised to hear SVOD leader Netflix is not an option for the Seinfeld video streaming deal. The company was strongly considering a deal with Sony last year but in the end took a pass, subsequently securing the rights to Friends from Warner Bros. instead. That deal cost the SVOD service more than $500,000 per episode and sources close to Sony's Seinfeld deal say the company is “seeking a higher price” than that. The final price will ultimately depend on the length of the deal. The Friends deal gives Netflix a four-year run but Seinfeld bidders say a 10-year minimum will need to be in place for the Sony deal to fetch a price north of the per-episode rate of the former.
Does a deal with one of the three above-mentioned SVOD services mean we will lose our access to the show on other outlets? Nope. The classic comedy would reportedly stay in syndication just as Friends still remains in heavy rotation on TBS, post-Netflix deal. This is good news for fans of the Crackle video streaming service, which currently offers a rotating number of Seinfeld episodes at any given time. The service is backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, which likely gives it an even stronger leg up when it comes to retaining its rights to the Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David sitcom. Not only that, the streaming service also houses Seinfeld's newer series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which just last year completed its fifth season.
Hulu and Amazon have been working hard to acquire competitive content so as to present a more compelling offer for customers looking to cut the cord. With Netflix constantly striking new content deals as well as creating original shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the bar is constantly on the rise. That said, Amazon most recently locked down a deal with HBO to offer subscribers of its Prime service access to The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Girls and more. And with Amazon producing more popular original shows such as Transparent the competition between VOD outlets is continuing to rise.
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