Hollywood Reporter – Seinfeld will be master of a new domain starting in 2021. Netflix has landed worldwide rights to the iconic sitcom in a five-year deal with distributor Sony. The show will move from current rightsholder Hulu when its deal is up in 2021…First reported by the L.A. Times, the deal will bring Seinfeld’s global streaming rights under one roof for the first time. Hulu’s current $150 million-per-year deal is for domestic rights only; Amazon has held rights in most other territories around the world…”Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “It is as fresh and funny as ever, and will be available to the world in 4K for the first time. We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix.”…Acquired series like Seinfeld, Friends and The Office are huge drivers of usage on streaming platforms. Nielsen consumption data for 2018 said Netflix users in the U.S. watched about 85 billion minutes of The Office and Friends — the equivalent of about 25 hours for every Netflix subscriber in the country.
This is a Power. Move. by Netflix after losing all the Marvel properties due to the mouse launching its own streaming platform in Disney+. Oh we can’t have Iron Man 3 anymore? Alright, well I guess we’ll just go acquire the most popular TV show of all time. Imagine being good enough at anything that people will pay to watch you? Now imagine being so good that people (Netflix) will pay ($150M per YEAR) to watch you from 20 years ago. Mind boggling shit.
Seinfeld and The Simpsons have shaped my sense of humor more than any other TV show, movie, stand up comedian or any other form of pop culture in America. I can make a Seinfeld or Simpsons reference for anything and do so just about every day, much to the chagrin of my family and friends. I actually went out of my way one time to go meet the Soup Nazi in downtown Boston a couple years back.
There are few shows better suited to 11 pm reruns than Seinfeld. A 22 minute episode with multiple plot lines where I can zone in and out and fall asleep watching reruns from 20 years ago. Granted Seinfeld is on about 75% of the time I’m home on a channel somewhere anyways, but thats besides the point. Now I can watch any episode of Seinfeld at any time and that is exhilarating for a couch potato such as myself.
Netflix *really* needs to invent a random next episode option though because there is nothing worse than searching for an episode to watch. How many people spend more time browsing Netflix than actually watching Netflix? Its why theres 50 things in my queue that I never intend to actually watch. I don’t know what episode I want to watch, just play something goddamnit.