Tech

HBO Max scores exclusive streaming rights to 'The Big Bang Theory'

Key Points
  • HBO Max has won the streaming rights to "The Big Bang Theory" as it works to beef up the new service.
  • All 279 episodes of Big Bang will be available on WarnerMedia's HBO Max, which is slated to launch in the spring of 2020.
  • It comes as WarnerMedia faces steep pressure from platforms and legacy media companies in the ongoing streaming wars.
  • Netflix on Monday snagged streaming rights to "Seinfeld" in a multimillion dollar deal after losing "Friends" and "The Office."
'The Big Bang Theory' on CBS
Sonja Flemming/CBS | Getty Images

HBO Max has won the exclusive rights to blockbuster comedy series "The Big Bang Theory" as it works to beef up the new direct-to-consumer streaming service.

A WarnerMedia spokesperson declined to comment on terms of the deal, but sources familiar with the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that the five-year deal is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. All 279 episodes of Big Bang will be available on HBO Max, which AT&T's WarnerMedia expects to launch in the spring of 2020 at a price of $15 to $18 per month.

"Few shows define a generation and capture mainstream zeitgeist like 'The Big Bang Theory,'" said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia's direct-to-consumer division. "We're thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020. This show has been a hit virtually around the globe, 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 U.S. is a coup for our new offering."

As part of the deal, WarnerMedia's cable network TBS has extended its agreement to continue airing the show through 2028. Big Bang reruns first debuted on the network in 2011.

Securing the rights to Big Bang represents a significant win for WarnerMedia, which has sought to build a streaming platform that can compete with the likes of Netflix, Apple's Apple TV+, Disney's Disney+, Amazon's Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, among others.

On Monday, Netflix snagged the streaming rights to "Seinfeld" in a multimillion dollar deal, after losing "Friends" and "The Office." HBO Max won the rights to "Friends," while "The Office" is headed to NBCUniversal's streaming service launching in April. CNBC's parent company announced the name of the platform on Tuesday: Peacock.

Big Bang ended its 12-season run on CBS in May as the longest running multi-camera comedy series in the U.S.

Disclosure: CNBC and NBC are owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal unit.

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