Subscription video on demand service Hulu has acquired Seinfeld from Sony Pictures Television at an estimated price of $700,000 per episode, according to sources. The deal will be announced at Hulu’s upfront presentation Wednesday morning in New York City.
With 180 episodes available, that brings the deal's tally to approximately $126 million, although that’s a relatively small number compared to the more than $3 billion Seinfeld already has earned since it entered syndication in 1995.
Amazon and Yahoo also were in the running for the show, according to The Wall Street Journal. Netflix dropped out of the bidding last year, and went on to buy Friends from Warner Bros. at approximately $500,000 an episode. That was the first deal that indicated that off-network sitcoms could find a new and real revenue stream with the upstart streaming services.
Seinfeld was produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, which is now owned by Time Warner, and is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Jerry Seinfeld, who starred in the show and co-created it with Larry David are both large profit participants, and have reportedly each earned $400 million off the show's proceeds.