Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory deals prove old is gold in streaming wars

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The cast of The Big Bang Theory
Image captionThe Big Bang Theory ended in May after 12 seasons

Big-money streaming deals for Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory have been done, proving the pulling power of familiar TV shows as the streaming wars heat up.

All 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory will be on HBO Max when it launches next spring after a $500m (£400m) deal.

Netflix has won the rights to Seinfeld, reportedly also for more than $500m.

That comes after Netflix lost its two most popular shows – Friends to HBO Max for $425m (£340m) and The Office to NBC’s new service Peacock for $500m.

The deals are signs of the fierce competition as a new raft of streaming services prepare to launch in the US – and of the enduring appeal of comedy favourites among viewers.

The cast of Seinfeld
Image captionSeinfeld, which ran for nine years until 1998, is going to Netflix

Peacock was unveiled on Tuesday, and as well as winning the rights to the US version of The Office, it is hoping to make a new version. NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer told Deadline: “It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot.”

The platform will also show Parks and Recreation and reboots of classics Battlestar Galactica, Saved By the Bell and Punky Brewster.

Peacock will launch next April. Of the raft of other new streaming services, Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will launch in the US in November, while HBO Max is expected to be available next spring.

Speaking of the Big Bang Theory deal, the show’s creator Chuck Lorre said “12 seasons of laughter is a gift to be cherished”.

He added: “And now we are extremely excited that TBBT will be joining the HBO Max line-up and be available to both existing and future fans of the show. Laughter has legs!”

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