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‘The Big Bang Theory’ streaming rights will go to HBO Max

Kunal Nayyar, left, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg in “The Big Bang Theory.”
Kunal Nayyar, left, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg in “The Big Bang Theory.”
(Monty Brinton / CBS)

The long-running hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” will have its streaming home on HBO Max, the upcoming service to be launched by WarnerMedia next year.

The rights deal announced Tuesday was expected as “The Big Bang Theory” is produced by WarnerMedia’s studio Warner Bros. Television. The agreement also includes keeping the series on WarnerMedia’s cable network TBS through 2028. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Few shows define a generation and capture mainstream zeitgeist like ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment. “We’re thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020.”

Durable hit sitcoms have become valuable pieces as media conglomerates mobilize to compete with Netflix with their own streaming services. “The Big Bang Theory,” starring Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, was the most-watched sitcom in prime time during most of its 12-year, 279-episode run on CBS, which ended in May.

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The streaming pact is for five years and only covers the U.S.

WarnerMedia bid $425 million to get the streaming rights to Warner Bros. Television’s “Friends” for HBO Max. NBCUniversal paid $500 million for Universal Television’s “The Office” for its upcoming streaming service.

Both series have become popular on Netflix, which will lose both next year.

Netflix notably fought back this week by winning a six-company bidding war for “Seinfeld,” which is distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Netflix made a five-year-deal for the global streaming rights to the hit 1990s series for an undisclosed sum that sources said topped the previous domestic deals.


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