HBO Max Wins US Streaming Rights for The Big Bang Theory

All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in the spring of 2020 in the US.

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HBO Max Wins US Streaming Rights for The Big Bang Theory

Actors Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and Simon Helberg (left to right)

Highlights
  • HBO Max has secured five-year streaming rights for the show
  • All 279 episodes of the show will be available on HBO Max
  • It is said to have cost HBO Max between $500 million and $600 million

HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from AT&T's WarnerMedia, has secured exclusive five-year streaming rights in the United States to all 12 seasons of comedy hit The Big Bang Theory. Ranked as the No. 1 comedy on US television for the past seven years, the show has garnered an audience of some 20 million people. The rights for the show cost HBO Max between $500 million and $600 million (roughly Rs. 3,600 crores to Rs. 4,300 crores), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in the spring of 2020, WarnerMedia said in a statement.

Winning rights to hit shows has become expensive in a crowded streaming industry dominated by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon's Prime Video. Walt Disney and Apple have also announced their own streaming services.

Comcast's NBCUniversal said on Tuesday it would name its upcoming streaming service "Peacock" and offer a broad slate of original content, including Dr Death starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin.

Peacock will also offer classic sitcoms The Office and Parks and Recreation and is scheduled to be launched in 2020, NBCUniversal said. The company owns traditional television network NBC, which features a peacock in its logo.

Netflix, poised to lose The Office to Peacock in 2021, said on Monday it had landed the global streaming rights for classic TV sitcom Seinfeld.

The Office was the most-watched show on Netflix in the United States, followed by Friends, when measured by minutes streamed, according to Nielsen data for 2018.

HBO Max, which is expecting a slate of 10,000 hours of premium content at launch, got the rights to stream US reruns of Friends from 2020 in July.

Television rights for The Big Bang Theory will remain with cable television channel TBS till 2028, WarnerMedia said on Tuesday.

The show about four brilliant but socially inept scientists that made geeks and comic book nerds pop culture cool, began in 2007 and went on to win 10 Emmy awards, four of them for Jim Parsons as quirky theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper.

Over the years, the series featured cameos by celebrities including British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Star Trek actors William Shatner and George Takei, and Marvel comics legend Stan Lee.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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