Repeats of old sitcoms are big business in the streaming world. NBCUniversal paid $500+ million so it could play “The Office” exclusively on its streaming service. HBO Max paid out $425 million to do the same for “Friends”.
Now the latter is set to go even bigger with WarnerMedia reportedly looking to secure the exclusive streaming rights to two of producer Chuck Lorre’s biggest hit sitcoms – CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” – for a package that could cost as much as $1.5 billion.
Unlike “The Office” and “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” have not yet been available on streaming beyond a rotating selection of their latter seasons’ most recent episodes on CBS All Access. Both shows, however, continue to be huge draws in broadcast syndication.
Talks are complicated but WarnerMedia is determined to have as many of the Warner Bros. TV-produced biggest comedy series of the last two decades all under the HBO Max roof by the time of the service’s launch in spring 2020.
In addition, Sony Pictures Television is said to be putting “Seinfeld” up on the block for an exclusive SVOD deal once its existing contract with Hulu runs out in 2021 and has reportedly pitched the show to multiple streamers including HBO Max and Netflix.