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Hulu gets rights to show 'Seinfeld' via streaming video-on-demand

Hulu strikes deal with Sony Pictures TV for streaming video-on-demand rights to 'Seinfeld'

For Hulu, a show about nothing just upped its clout in the digital TV game.

The digital streaming service, in one of its biggest acquisitions, has scored the streaming video-on-demand rights to syndication powerhouse "Seinfeld." Hulu has struck a deal with Sony Pictures TV, which has control of the distribution rights to the NBC comedy on behalf of original producer Castle Rock TV, for all 180 of its episodes.

The deal is expected to be announced at Hulu's "upfront" presentation to advertisers in New York on Wednesday morning.

"Seinfeld" would be available beginning in June on Hulu, which is co-owned by 21st Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a person with knowledge of the pact said the per-episode value is $700,000 to $1 million, with the money split among distributor Sony TV, Time Warner's Castle Rock and "Seinfeld" profit participants including star Jerry Seinfeld.

Snagging the rights to the long-running comedy, which ended its nine-season run in 1998 and has maintained a strong afterlife in syndication, is a major coup for Hulu.

Sony TV had been shopping the first SVOD licensing deal for the show for the last few months. The Wall Street Journal was first to report the deal.  

"Seinfeld" has had some presence on the digital front, with a limited number of reruns available on Sony TV's Crackle video platform.

The Hulu agreement, though, makes the whole "Seinfeld" library available to stream. The deal does not affect the comedy's syndication run on cable: reruns will continue airing on TBS.

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