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Soon You’ll Be Able to Stream ‘Seinfeld’ Episodes

Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo bidding on online video rights to the show

Stephanie Butnick
March 16, 2015
NYC's 'Seinfeld' Subway on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Television)
NYC’s ‘Seinfeld’ Subway on May 12, 2014 in New York City. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Television)

Seinfeld is already on the medical school curriculum, so it’s about time it made its way to the realm of online streaming. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony Pictures Television is close to a deal with an online video service, with Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo bidding on the rights to the show (Netflix passed).

It’s not the only way to watch Seinfeld these days. Reruns air several times nightly on TBS and various local stations, and the show passed $3 billion in syndication profits in 2013—that’s $70 million for each of the show’s 180 episodes—netting co-creators David and Seinfeld both a cool $400 million. Online streaming likely won’t be as profitable (according to the Journal, a deal could have each episode earning $500,000 or so) but it will mean that Seinfeld will reach younger viewers and maybe pull in some new ones too. After all, the people who tune in each night for reruns airing at 6:30 p.m. aren’t exactly the primary audience for online streaming.

The show, which aired from 1989 to 1998, is entering new territory, positioning itself in the most important place a beloved show can be now that computers no longer have DVD drives and access to never-ending programming is as simple as stealing a relative’s Hulu Plus password. Seinfeld is coming to the Internet, and we are ready.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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