In what may be one of the largest online distribution deals for a show that aired back in the 1990’s, Hulu has agreed to pay $180 million dollars for Seinfeld, roughly about $1 million per episode.
This deal marks the end of a long and aggressive battle between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, and other online distributors for the rights to air Seinfeld episodes. Early reports say Netflix was the first to bow out of the bidding war when the price hit a reported $1 million per episode.
Such a high price, for a show that has not been on the air since 1998, brings up the question, “Is there a bubble forming where networks will quickly inflate the price of online content?” The fear this raises is that media company’s will attempt to hold out for more and more money; driving up the cost of their services. We wonder, “Can Hulu really afford to pay $1 million dollars per episode, for a show that is over 20 years old, and keep its price low?”
While few shows may be as iconic as Seinfeld, there is a long list of them still waiting for online distribution through services like Netflix. We hope to see all of these shows online soon. However, we also hope they are offered at a reasonable price, before transactions like the Seinfeld deal force the cost of popular services to skyrocket.
What do you think? Will this deal eventually drive up the cost of services like Hulu and Netflix, or is the Seinfeld deal simply a sign of the worth of an Iconic American Show?