What’s the deal with Seinfeld and Hulu?

Hulu has bought the digital streaming rights to the oft-quoted NBC comedy Seinfeld. The video streaming service must have been tired of seeing competitor Netflix constantly in the headlines and cut a deal with Sony Pictures TV for all 180 episodes of the sitcom for nearly $160 million. Hulu announced the deal at its upfront presentation on Wednesday. Subscribers will be able to start bingewatching episodes in June.

Netflix recently paid top dollar for streaming rights to the other decade-defining sitcom Friends, as well as a slew of original feature films from comedy’s biggest names. But arguably one of modern comedy’s biggest names is Jerry Seinfeld. Hulu, whose premium service Hulu Plus falls far behind Netflix and Amazon Instant Video in subscription numbers, has been trying to keep up with its own acquisitions. Hulu teamed up with Comedy Dynamics to feature popular stand-up comedy specials on its site. Last year they also acquired the rights to cult comedy series Party Down and ordered Amy Poehler’s USA Network pilot Difficult People to series. Attempting to attract binge-watchers with proven TV favorites, Hulu bought the rights to CBS’s 300+ episodes of CSI in February. The Seinfeld deal will be the first time that Jerry Seinfeld’s observational sitcom will be available in its entirety to stream online. Quipped the comedian, “You can watch the show whenever you want. I mean you could just put the DVD in, but I guess no one wanted to do that.”

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Billy Procida

Laughspin editor-in-chief Billy Procida is a stand-up comedian in New York City. He hosts The Manwhore Podcast where he talks to women he's hooked up with about sex, dating, and why they didn't work out. Reach him on Twitter.

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