By: Nick Gambino
So there I was making my way through Seinfeld for the 100th time. I was halfway through the 8th penultimate season on Hulu when it suddenly disappeared. After a brief moment of panic, I found out what the hell was going on. Seinfeld, the #1 sitcom of all time, has taken its leave from Hulu after losing a bid to Netflix. Apparently, this news was announced all the way back in September 2019, but I missed it.
This is good news for all those Netflix subscribers of which there are many more than Hulu, but if you, like me, we’re in the middle of watching the glorious show, you’re going to have to wait a few months. Seinfeld won’t hit Netflix until September. That’s three whole months of no “Festivus for the rest of us” or “No soup for you!” or, my favorite, “Jerry, just remember…it’s not a lie if you believe it.”
Hulu snagged the rights to the show back in 2015 for a reported $130 to $180 million. It left the platform almost 6 years to the day after it arrived. Netflix outbid both Hulu and Amazon (they have the UK streaming rights) for exclusive streaming rights.
We don’t have any reported figures, but apparently, Sony, the company that owns Seinfeld, was looking for a big day, somewhere on the order of what Friends raked in when they had an exclusive deal with Netflix. That cost somewhere around $400 million which is more than double what Hulu paid for the Jerry Seinfeld sitcom. Some reports suggest the Netflix bid came in above the $500 million mark. Hulu, even with all that Disney money, wasn’t looking to pony up that kind of cash.
Even after going off the air 23 years ago, the show continues to be a huge earner to the tune of billions. Jerry himself has raked in close to $1 billion since the series finale. For a show about nothing, it certainly makes a whole lot of something.
I guess in order to get my Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer fix, I’ll have to—God help me—pull out my DVD set of the series. Life is so hard.