Something to look forward to: It might have come to an end in 1998, but few comedies are as loved today as Seinfeld. It's why Netflix has reportedly paid over $500 million to secure the rights to the show for five years, starting in 2021.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the deal will see all 180 episodes of Seinfeld offered to Netflix's US and global subscribers once it leaves Hulu in 2021.
While Hulu paid $130 million to secure the comedy for six years of domestic streaming rights---Amazon had the rights for most overseas locations---Netflix's deal will grant it total control. While the exact amount it paid for Seinfeld is unclear, the Times reports that it's "far more" than the $500 million NBCUniversal paid for The Office and the $425 million WarnerMedia paid for Friends.
Netflix will doubtlessly be positioning Seinfeld as a replacement for Friends and The Office, which are leaving for HBO Max in 2020 and NBCUniversal's service in 2021, respectively. The pair were the two most-streamed Netflix shows last year.
Seinfeld, which turned 30 this year, originally had a 4:3 aspect ratio and came in standard definition. Hulu remastered the show into an HD, widescreen format, and Netflix will be presenting the entire series in 4K.
"Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against," said Netflix's 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."