Viacom has staked its claim in all 180 episodes of “Seinfeld,” acquiring the exclusive cable rights for the show from Sony Pictures Television.
Beginning in October 2021, Viacom’s entertainment cable networks — including Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land — will air the Jerry Seinfeld-led comedy, which originally aired from 1989-1998 on NBC. Catch-up episodes will also be made available through Viacom’s on-demand services, websites and apps.
“Seinfeld” has been available on Hulu since 2015, but Netflix announced five days ago that it landed global streaming rights to the comedy beginning in 2021.
“We’re extremely proud to bring this little-known series to our viewers,” Kent Alterman, President of Comedy Central, Paramount Network, TV Land and Vandelay Industries, said. “With the right programming and promotion, we believe we’ll finally get ‘Seinfeld’ the recognition it truly deserves, as merely the greatest sitcom of all-time.”
John Weiser, the president of Sony’s First Run Television, added, “‘Seinfeld’ airing on Comedy Central and the Viacom networks brings together the greatest comedy of all time, with the best brands in cable. This was a tremendous team effort and we are delighted to be working with the first class executives at Viacom who are experts in programming and promotion. For a show about Nothing, this is really Something!”
The deal between Sony and Viacom was made by Barbara Zaneri, the executive vice president of global program acquisitions at Viacom, and Flory Bramnick, the EVP for U.S. distribution at Sony Pictures Televisions.
The money is significantly less than the recent “Seinfeld” streaming deal (as that is for “global rights” rather than “U.S. rights”) and more along the lines of other mega cable deals, like the cable portion of the “Office” and “Friends” deals, according to a source.
Another source close to the negotiation was told “it was more than $250,000 per episode.”
Sony and Viacom declined to elaborate on the terms of the deal.
Tony Maglio contributed to this story.