New Deal Makes Netflix the Future Home For All ‘Seinfeld’ Episodes

Savvy Netflix subscribers are used to keeping track of what’s going and what’s coming to the streamer each month or year and are aware that sometimes it means favorites will be cut for good. Network shows in particular are a sore spot for viewers, but sometimes you get a pleasant surprise or two. This time, you can count Seinfeld as one of them.

'Seinfeld' cast season 3
‘Seinfeld’ cast Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander as George Costanza | Getty Images/Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Netflix lands the rights to ‘Seinfeld’

Today, it was announced that the streaming giant acquired the streaming rights to one of pop culture’s most celebrated sitcoms. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report that Netflix struck a deal with Sony Pictures Television to carry all 180 episodes of show for global streaming.

That’s right folks, Seinfeld will be offered worldwide, not just the U.S. Due to hit the service in 2021, Seinfeld will be calling Netflix home for five years.

Although the comedy aired on NBC from 1989 to 1998, Sony Pictures Television owns the distribution rights for the series. Though no official figures have been released, it’s estimated that Netflix paid close to a half billion dollars to secure the streaming rights.

Where people are watching ‘Seinfeld’ right now

Currently, Hulu subscribers can access every season of Seinfeld, which is part of a deal that went into effect in 2015. According to Variety, Hulu pays roughly $150 million per year for the domestic streaming rights to the show, while Amazon Prime possesses the international streaming rights.

At the time of the Hulu agreement, Netflix expressed interest but instead locked in Friends. With the Hulu contract expiring in 2021, Netflix swooped in for the opportunity. But streaming is not the only option, because cable users can still enjoy Seinfeld on TBS.

Why ‘Seinfeld’ is a good bet for Netflix

Netflix users who are disappointed about the fate of The Office and Friends on the platform might be worried about what’s left to watch once the shows leave. After all, The Office is the most-streamed series on the site and many viewers are longtime fans who like to re-watch old episodes multiple times. The same thing goes for Seinfeld.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or if you’ve ever even seen an episode, chances are you know about Seinfeld. As Deadline points out, the Netflix deal will make the series available in one place for the entire world to view it. That means newbies and diehard fans can be absorbed into the world of Seinfeld in one central location.

And let’s be honest, Netflix has cultivated a good relationship with the comedian himself, as proven by Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and his film special.

Both Netflix and Sony are excited about the new deal, with Sony Picture Television’s chairman Mike Hopkins telling the L.A. Times:

“Seinfeld is a one-of-a-kind, iconic, culture-defining show. Now, 30 years after its premiere, Seinfeld remains center stage. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Netflix to bring this beloved series to current fans and new audiences around the globe.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer for Netflix. He added:

Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against. 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.”

This is good news for Seinfeld fans and Netflix users who are sad to see content from Disney, Marvel, and NBC saying goodbye. Now, you’ll only have to wait until 2021.