Consider it the Holy Grail of video streaming: the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that streaming services like Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo are looking to snap up the rights to offer their subscribers the entire 180-episdoe catalog of Seinfeld episodes. And apparently a deal is close to being finalized.
According to the report, Netflix—arguably the largest video streaming service around—has already declared that it’s out of the running for the show. Last year, Netflix snapped up Friends from Warner Bros. at a price of half a million dollars per episode. The report adds that Sony, who owns the rights to Seinfeld, is looking for an even higher price tag than that.
While it may be odd that Yahoo is now on that list, the company has been making pretty broad strides in the world of video streaming lately. Let’s not forget that Yahoo is the exclusive home of new episodes for the fan favorite sitcom Community, another NBC alum. When the network decided it didn’t want to deal with the relatively high maintenance show, Yahoo decided it would make an ideal home for the sixth season. Meanwhile, Hulu has seasons one through five available for streaming.
Amazon, all the while, has been building its own on-demand portfolio full of original programming, some of which made big waves at last year’s Emmy’s, as well as having struck a deal with HBO to offer its subscribers access to that catalog. Interestingly, Sony has its own streaming service, PlayStation Vue, which is set to launch sometime this quarter. That service is absent from the article, though that’s likely because Sony wants to earn money from the deal, rather than another lure for subscribers. Perhaps a deal will be worked out to allow Sony to have access to the catalog in PlayStation Vue in addition to whatever service buys the streaming rights.
In short, between Amazon, Hulu, and Yahoo, Seinfeld represents a huge way for one of these companies to bring itself closer to Netflix’s position in the burgeoning streaming industry. No matter who gets it, the coming huge Seinfeld deal is real. And it’s spectacular.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]