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The Los Angeles Times reports that the streaming service struck a five-year deal with Sony Pictures Television that will be formally announced on Monday. Netflix will start streaming the show in the United States and around the world in 2021 after topping bids from Hulu, Amazon, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, and Viacom.
It’s a dramatic turn of events for the streaming service, which has been seen as struggling to compete against upstart streaming services from companies like Disney that control the rights to huge libraries of content. It’s driven huge investment in original programming—$15 billion this year—and, at least in this case, a particularly aggressive approach to landing a legacy show with proven value in the streaming marketplace.
Seinfeld is currently available to stream domestically on Hulu, the majority of which is owned by Disney, and in most international markets on Amazon Prime Video. Stealing the show away from its competitors likely made this deal all the more attractive to Netflix.
What we don’t know is how much Netflix will have to shell out. Hulu currently pays $150 million a year for domestic rights to the show, but because the Netflix deal includes international streaming it’s dramatically more, according to those who spoke to the Times.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, called the show “as fresh and funny as ever” and announced that it would available in 4K for the first time.
So while there are still plenty of reasons to think that Disney+ is a serious threat to streaming’s dominant company, moves like this show that Netflix isn’t going down without a fight.
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