Spongeworthy! Hulu Scores Monstrous $180 Million ‘Seinfeld’ Streaming Deal

In what likely turned out to be an intense bidding war, Hulu has secured the rights to stream all 180 episodes of Seinfeld, the highly successful NBC comedy that spanned nine seasons from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998. It's said that Hulu agreed to fork over just shy of $1 million per episode, or around $180 million for the entire series.

It was reported last month that several parties were interested in the sitcom's streaming rights, including Amazon and Yahoo. Netflix would have been interested had it not already paid a king's ransom for Friends, another popular sitcom of days gone by, and a comparative bargain at $500,000 per episode. So, it was really a three-way bidding war, and Hulu came out on top.

Seinfeld Restaurant
Image Source: Flickr (Chris Brown)

At nearly $180 million, there's plenty of money to go around, which will be split by distributor Sony Pictures TV, Time Warner's Castle Rock, co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, and others. Exactly how much each profit participant will get depends on the actual deal amount -- there's a report in the The Wall Street Journal that says the deal came to around $700,000 per episode, which would work out to $126 million.

Either way, it's a massive sum, and one Hulu can afford. The streaming service is co-owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast, a trio of mega corporations with plenty of resources to go around. The hope is that scoring high-profile shows like Seinfeld will attract new subscriber's to Hulu Plus, a subscription service that runs $7.99 per month.

This isn't the first time Seinfeld has been available to stream -- select episodes were previously made available on Sony TV's Crackle platform. However, this will be the first time that all 180 episodes will be available to stream.