Hulu subscribers can now hang out with Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, at least online.
As of Wednesday, anyone who pays the $7.99-per-month price tag to subscribe to Hulu can stream all 9 seasons and 180 episodes of the hit '90s sitcom. Though "Seinfeld" reruns occasionally pop up on cable TV, this marks the first time the entire series can be viewed via an online service. You can watch the whole series from start to finish, or zero in on any of your favorite episode such as "The Soup Nazi," "The Contest" or "The Chinese Restaurant."
Grabbing the streaming rights to "Seinfeld" is a major coup for Hulu. The service is currently home to would love to have Netflix's subscriber numbers, a goal the company is shooting for. Picking up the entire "Seinfeld" series is one step toward that goal.. But that doesn't come anywhere close to Netflix, which has around 40 million subscribers in the US alone and nearly 60 million globally. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins told CNNMoney that he
"We think it's a one-of-a-kind property," Hopkins told CNNMoney. "There aren't too many shows that have a puffy shirt in the Smithsonian, for example. We believe that we're going to be able to introduce 'Seinfeld' to a whole new young audience that's here at Hulu. We also think that 'Seinfeld' will help us attract a new audience to Hulu."
Hulu hasn't revealed what it paid to acquire "Seinfeld." Reports say the company shelled out more than $150 million for the streaming rights. But all Hopkins would tell CNNMoney was that the bidding was "aggressive" and "we're happy we won."
Though it's been off the air since 1998, "Seinfeld" remains one of the most popular, if not the most popular, sitcoms of all times. The series was ranked by TV Guide in 2002 as the greatest television show of all time. The show's catch phrases like "No soup for you" and "Happy Festivus" have become part of the zeitgeist of society.
As such, the series should convince many fans to pony up the $7.99 per month to have access to every episode. Unlike many sitcoms that don't age well, "Seinfeld" retains its appeal. So it could help Hulu capture younger viewers who never caught the show in its heyday.
Another sign of the ongoing popularity of "Seinfeld" is a new exhibit popping up in Manhattan called "Seinfeld: The Apartment." Visitors can explore a real, re-created version of Jerry's apartment, according to the Hollywood Reporter, complete with the famous couch, the bike hanging up in the back and actual fruit on the kitchen counter. "Seinfeld: The Apartment" is located at 451 W 14th Street in Manhattan and will be open from June 24 to June 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
As for Hulu, acquiring "Seinfeld" isn't the only move it has made to drum up business. On Tuesday, the company announced that it will. To woo the growing number of cord cutters, Showtime is for $11 a month. But Hulu will offer a package deal of its own content plus Showtime movies and series for $17 a month, undercutting Showtime's price by $2 per month.