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Hulu will stream 'Seinfeld': Good business for the streaming service? (+video)

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(Read caption) 'Seinfeld' stars Jerry Seinfeld (center), Michael Richards (l.), and Jason Alexander (r.).

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Looking to binge-watch the misadventures of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer? Hulu has you covered.

According to Deadline, all the episodes from the NBC hit sitcom will be heading to the streaming service. Deadline writer Nellie Andreeva writes that the show is costing around $130 million, which is believed to be more than what Netflix paid for the rights to stream fellow NBC sitcom “Friends.” “Seinfeld” will be available exclusively on Hulu.

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“Seinfeld” aired from 1989 to 1998 and centered on stand-up comic Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), his friend George (Jason Alexander), Jerry’s neighbor Kramer (Michael Richards), and Jerry’s ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

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Many streaming services, particularly Netflix, are very secretive about which of their shows are watched the most. But it seems reasonable to assume that the services wouldn’t keep paying for the rights to stream old TV shows if it wasn’t financially prudent for them. In addition to “Friends,” Netflix recently acquired the rights to stream the WB series “Gilmore Girls." (It also reportedly paid a lot for the rights to both old and new episodes of the NBC hit show “The Blacklist,” which is still on the air, this past summer.)

Variety editor Cynthia Littleton pointed to Hulu acquiring “Seinfeld” as an indicator that “Hulu is stepping up its game” and noted that “Friends” is “believed to have performed well for Netflix.”

In addition, we recently got another interesting look into how TV shows actually perform on streaming services via CBS chief research officer David Poltrack, according to CNN. Speaking at the 2014 UBS Global Media Conference, Poltrack said the research he had access to showed that Netflix users watched a little more than 1 billion hours of all of the streaming service’s original shows but that viewers watched 800 million hours of old episodes of CBS’s show “NCIS” alone.

It seems that sometimes viewers just want TV comfort food, and “Seinfeld” would certainly provide that.


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