Netflix lands Seinfeld streaming rights, beginning in 2021. Premiering all the way back on NBC in 1989, Seinfeld went on to become one of the defining shows of the 1990s and arguably the greatest sitcom of all-time. Though it signed off the air in 1998 with a divisive series finale, Seinfeld has remained ever popular in the decades since. The program earned itself a new generation of fans thanks to syndication airings and streaming on Hulu.
Streaming, of course, is ever-prevalent in this day and age, with multiple services competing for consumers' hard-earned money. Netflix has to deal with the likes of Apple TV+ and Disney+ later this year, both of which feature exclusive shows and movies from the industry's hottest properties and top creative talents. Though Netflix has been in the game for a long time and has a bevy of original series and films to bank on, they can use all the extra advantages they can get. And soon, they'll be getting all of Seinfeld.
Today, Netflix announced all 180 episodes of Seinfeld will be available worldwide on the streaming platform in 2021, which is when Seinfeld's current deal with Hulu expires. Sony, Seinfeld's distributor, approached HBO Max and others during the negotiation stage, but Netflix won out.
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
This is a very welcome turn of events for Netflix, which just lost Friends and The Office to rival subscription services. Those tough blows, combined with Disney moving everything to Disney+ could have made things untenable for Netflix. A study from earlier this year revealed half of Netflix's youngest subscribers would cancel if Netflix lost the aforementioned trifecta of Friends, The Office, and Disney. Obviously, the hope is the arrival of Seinfeld will force people to reconsider. There will definitely be those who still decide to cut ties with Netflix, but this is still a huge boost for Netflix as they look to rebuild their lineup over the next couple of years. Jerry Seinfeld's talk show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee started streaming on Netflix last year, so now his two most famous shows are under the same roof. Netflix clearly likes being in business with the Seinfeld brand, and ideally they'll have success with Seinfeld reruns.
Despite Seinfeld's enduring popularity, acquiring the rights wasn't as much a priority for other streaming services. HBO Max will be home to Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Two and a Half Men (which doesn't come cheap), so they're set as far as iconic sitcoms go. Hulu, according to Deadline, is set to receive a plethora of shows from Disney, now that they fall under the Mouse House's umbrella. Netflix had a void they needed to fill desperately, so there was added incentive for them to come out on top in this bidding war.
Source: Netflix, Deadline