The heat is really getting turned up in the streaming wars — and so are the costs. NBCUniversal recently announced its Peacock service would be taking Parks and Rec and The Office from Netflix, paying a reported $500 million for latter. That might seem like a staggering price point, but HBO Max has dwarfed it after signing a multi-billion-dollar deal to bring The Big Bang Theory to the upcoming VOD service.
The deal brings all 12 seasons of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady’s hit sit-com together to stream in one location for the first time. Just as with Friends (for which the nascent service shelled out $425 million), HBO Max has locked up five years of exclusivity on Big Bang.
As The Hollywood Reporter has it, the deal also includes an extension of TBS’ Big Bang Theory syndication rights through 2028. WarnerMedia is behind both the basic cable network and the forthcoming streaming service, so it makes sense that the Warner Bros. Television-produced comedy smash would feel at home on TBS and HBO Max. Still, the undisclosed 10-digit move-in fee is astonishing.
Said WarnerMedia Entertainment chairman and head of direct-to-consumer products Robert Greenblatt,
“Few shows define a generation and capture mainstream zeitgeist like The Big Bang Theory. 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 US is a coup for our new offering.”
With the ink dry, Big Bang Theory will join an HBO Max lineup that also includes HBO classics Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, as well as Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s new series, Americanah. The VOD service will also feature The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Pretty Little Liars, Batwoman, Katy Keene, and more.