Netflix sets ‘Seinfeld’ debut

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Seinfeld,” the NBC hit comedy that ran from 1989 to 1998 has gotten an official Netflix debut date.

Netflix announced Sept. 1, 2021, that the show will start streaming on its service Oct. 1, 2021.

The streamer acquired the streaming rights to the show starting in 2021 back in 2019.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but it’s estimated to be worth upwards of $500 million over five years and covers streaming rights around the globe. This means that the show will disappear from Hulu in the U.S. and Amazon Prime Video overseas.

Netflix has acquired rights to all 180 episodes of the sitcom.

“Seinfeld” star Jerry Seinfeld has a separate deal with Netflix, worth an estimated $100 million. He’s already done on standup special for the streamer.

Netflix reportedly acquired the streaming rights to the show after a bidding wear that was said to include the likes of Peacock, HBO Max and Hulu.

The original rights to the show are controlled by Sony Pictures Television, who, in turn, can charge channels and platforms to air the show.

“Seinfeld” also currently runs in syndication on linear TV, which is a separate agreement. Typically bidders get exclusive rights to the show for a set period of time on a single platform.

Some syndicated shows on traditional TV can have multiple licensing deals. A “strip” deal allows the channel to air episodes in order, which is generally more appealing because it lets viewers see the show’s plot lines as they were intended.

Separate deals sometimes let another channel air the show out of order or, for example, in order during one timeslot of the day and out of order during another.

Hit shows such as “Seinfeld” have become hot commodities for streaming services — and lucrative to the owners of the show.

HBO Max reportedly agreed to pay $1.5 billion for the streaming rights to “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.”

It’s also worth noting that despite the fact “Seinfeld” ran on NBC, that doesn’t give NBC or its Peacock streamer automatic rights to it.

For most of its run, “Seinfeld” was produced, in part, by Castle Rock Entertainment, which is part of WarnerMedia (who owns HBO Max). However, Columbia Pictures Television, which is now part of Sony, held the distribution rights so it’s ultimately the one who gets to determine where the show’s reruns land.

The value of a show in either syndication or streaming generally decreases as time passes but it can also be affected by other factors, including how much it’s been seen on linear TV (if at all) and how long it’s been available to stream.