When Seinfeld ended its run on NBC in May 1998, people were still using dial-up connection to go online, Netflix was planning to launch as a DVD rental business, Amazon was an online book store, and Hulu was a decade from being born.
Now the classic sitcom from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David is heading to online streaming for the first time through a rich SVOD deal with Hulu. Under the pact between the streaming service and Sony Pictures TV, all nine seasons and 180 episodes of Seinfeld will be available on Hulu as its exclusive SVOD provider.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but word is that the license fee fetched by Seinfeld is north of $700,000 per episode for a total in the neighborhood of $130 million. I hear that is higher than — and possibly close to double — the per-episode price the show’s Must See TV companion Friends landed from Netflix.
Hulu landed Seinfeld in a bidding that involved multiple streaming platforms. The pact follows years of planning on part of Sony TV, which took a strategic approach and held back on selling Seinfeld online while the show was flying high in off-network syndication. Seinfeld is among the biggest off-network hits of all time, still bringing in tens of millions a year, now in its fifth syndication cycle.
Hulu and Sony TV declined comment.