Washington Post

'Seinfeld' for $500 million? 'The Big Bang Theory' for $1 billion? The streaming arms race has a big problem

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld walks the red carpet at the Kennedy Center in 2018. His show "Seinfeld" is one of several programs commanding astronomical prices from streaming services. Foto: Washington Post photo by Bill O'Leary

The numbers are enough to make you think it's 1995 and George is first getting mad at Jerry for breaking their pact.

This week, Netflix paid a reported $500 million for streaming rights to all 180 episodes of "Seinfeld." A day later, Warner Media, looking to beef up its imminent HBO Max service, paid a reported $1 billion for streaming rights to the nearly 300 episodes of "The Big Bang Theory." This came on top of the estimated $425 million the company already paid for "Friends."..

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