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Lionsgate is looking forward to a big fight over the Mad Men streaming rights in 2020

Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

The world grinds to a halt whenever the streaming rights to a big show like Seinfeld or Friends are up for grabs, even though it’s always just the same mega-corporations trying to spite other mega-corporations and everything just gets more and more inconvenient for the average consumer in the end, and now Lionsgate is evidently hoping to spark something similar next year when Netflix’s control of the streaming rights to Mad Men run out. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate’s vice chairman Michael Burns noted that his company holds “a tremendous amount of streaming rights,” and it’ll be getting the worldwide rights to Mad Men back in 2020, at which point it’ll start shopping them around.

When Netflix first picked up the Mad Men streaming rights in 2011, it was reportedly for somewhere around $1 million per episode. That’s a lot, but now Netflix has committed to paying $500 million for all of Seinfeld and HBO Max is paying just under that to take over the streaming rights of Friends, so Lionsgate is presumably hoping to get something similarly massive for one of the most critically acclaimed dramas of all time. That means it’ll be a fancy Christmas for the Lionsgate family, but for us regular folks, it just means having to keep track of where you can watch another one of these big shows and possibly paying for another service in order to do it. Or maybe Mad Men will stay on Netflix? Who knows. Either way, the responsible thing to do is to just subscribe to every possible streaming service until everything is 100 times worse than it ever was when the cable companies controlled all media.


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