The syndicated network darlings are getting snapped up by the streaming overlords one by one, it seems. After Netflix recently announced its acquisition of Seinfeld for, reportedly, the modest price tag of $500 million, HBO Max managed to top that with a big fish of its own. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the forthcoming streaming service has nabbed CBS’s former golden goose The Big Bang Theory in a deal worth over $1 billion, securing exclusive domestic streaming rights for the next five years. So while the Emmy-winning comedy can stream elsewhere around the globe, HBO Max will be the only streaming source in the U.S. for your daily dose of “bazinga” jabs, if that’s your kind of thing.
“We’re thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020,” WarnerMedia chairman Robert Greenblatt told THR. “This show has been a hit virtually around the globe, it’s one of the biggest shows on broadcast television of the last decade, and the fact that we get to bring it to a streaming platform for the first time in the US is a coup for our new offering.”
The price tag, while seemingly exorbitant, comes with major benefits for the new platform, which is up against far more competition now than the streaming landscape provided as little as three years ago. With The Office coming home to NBCUniversal’s freshly named Peacock service and Seinfeld heading to Netflix, HBO Max taking on two major network tentpoles with Big Bang Theory and Friends, which they secured back in July, makes it a way more viable competitor. And dangling such expensive fruit in front of the large, dedicated fan base that the show cultivated over 12 seasons should, theoretically, prove incredibly profitable. And now, let’s sit back and wait for the inevitable “will they/won’t they hang on to this major property” dance that happens at the end of all these major deals—a streaming service trope perfected by The Office, Friends, and Netflix.