As big media companies prepare to escalate the streaming wars, something is becoming increasingly clear: Old content is king.
While companies are spending tons of money on original content, just as much, if not more, is being spent on catalog material. HBO Max recently dropped $425M on Friends, while NBCUniversal spent $500M on The Office. Both of these series are being torn away from Netflix now, which is just an added bonus. Meanwhile, Disney Plus picked up the entire catalog of The Simpsons, but for an unknown price.
However, those prices, as high as they are, are nothing compared to some other deals being worked on.
According to Deadline, HBO Max is in talks with Warner Bros. TV for two Chuck Lorre series, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. Previously, it was known WarnerMedia was trying to secure Theory for $1B, but apparently, it has now expanded to a package deal to include Men for $1.5B.
The reason for the sky-high prices is neither series has had steaming deals in the U.S. before now outside of a few previous episodes for catchups in season on some platforms. The deal is reportedly complex due to Lorre’s existing deal, but HBO Max is said to be determined.
With all of these high price deals, it is said that Sony Pictures Television is looking at heading back out with Seinfeld to shop the series around again. It currently resides at Hulu, but with Disney now having operational control of that service, and a massive pipeline of content from its acquisition of Fox, Seinfeld is not nearly as important to it as it once was. Sony is said to be shopping the series around to multiple services, and HBO Max is in those talks as well.
It appears to be a good time to have a hit series in your portfolio because some streaming service will come calling soon.