WarnerMedia acquires ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for new platform

WarnerMedia has reportedly agreed to pay US$500 million over five years for 'The Big Bang Theory'.— AFP pic
WarnerMedia has reportedly agreed to pay US$500 million over five years for 'The Big Bang Theory'.— AFP pic

NEW YORK, Sept 17 — WarnerMedia group announced today that it had secured the rights for The Big Bang Theory on its upcoming online platform HBO Max, the latest move in the fight for back catalogs between streaming services.

All 279 episodes of the comedy show, stretching across 12 seasons, will be available when HBO Max launches in spring next year, the company said in a statement.

Classic television series have become a hot commodity in the escalating battle for streaming supremacy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that WarnerMedia, a subsidiary of telecom operator AT&T, had agreed to pay US$500 million (RM2 billion) over five years for The Big Bang Theory

WarnerMedia refused to confirm the sum to AFP.

“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,” said Robert Greenblatt, WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman.

WarnerMedia has already agreed to shell out US$425 million over five years to acquire Friends for the new platform.

Netflix said yesterday it had acquired the global rights to popular sitcom Seinfeld from 2021, without revealing the value of the transaction.

It came after the streaming giant lost the rights to Friends and the American version of The Office — the two most-watched series it has on offer.

NBCUniversal is paying US$500 million over five years for The Office.

Major players like Netflix and Amazon are keeping an eye on Apple and Disney, which will launch their streaming services later this year, and then NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia in 2020.

NBCUniversal said today that its new platform would be called “Peacock” and would be available from April 2020.

The streaming service will air classic NBC comedies such as 30 Rock, Cheers, and Will and Grace, the entertainment giant said in a statement.

Streaming platforms are spending billions of dollars creating new content but are also expanding their offerings by snapping up back catalogs of popular old shows.

Netflix is also soon to lose the rights to the catalog of Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel superhero films, which belong to Disney. — AFP

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