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Bazinga! HBO Max has prevailed in the auction for streaming rights to “The Big Bang Theory,” one of the last major comedy franchises that has yet to be licensed for the binge-watching era.
WarnerMedia’s nascent streaming platform will have exclusive rights to 12 seasons of the show from Warner Bros. Television and co-creators/executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. All 279 episodes of “Big Bang” will be available on HBO Max when it launches next spring.
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The deal also includes an extension of cable rerun rights to “Big Bang” for WarnerMedia’s TBS. TBS has consistently ranked among cable’s top 5 outlets ever since “Big Bang” reruns debuted on the cabler in 2011. The initial round of “Big Bang” syndication sales in 2010 set records with license fees of upwards of $600 million from TBS and local TV stations around the country.
Financial details of the HBO Max streaming sale were not disclosed. The rights are sure to have fetched a hefty nine-figure pricetag. “Big Bang” is a rare prize of a popular show — as big as it gets in the past decade — that has yet to be exploited in the streaming arena. Although the transaction is among sibling units of WarnerMedia, there is no question that the deal terms have passed a tough sniff test by representatives for Lorre, Prady and other “Big Bang” profit participants.
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“I am forever grateful to have been part of something as extraordinary as ‘The Big Bang Theory,’” Lorre said in a statement. “All of us — Bill Prady, (producers) Steven Molaro, Steve Holland and the amazing writing staff,...
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