And by “we,” I mean Stuart Sweet. He said you couldn’t stream Seinfeld on Netflix but you actually can beginning October 1!
This is HUGE news for Seinfeld fans. (I’m one of them.) Did you read Stuart’s July 20, 2021 blog post about streaming Seinfeld? In it, he explained that Netflix bought the streaming rights to the popular show from Hulu. They did this back in the summer. For whatever reason, Netflix didn’t air the show then and Stuart didn’t know why. (Imagine that!) Well, I’m happy to report that all changes on October 1. And it changes in a very BIG way…
Streaming Seinfeld in 4K
That’s right! All 180 episodes of this unique and hilarious sitcom will be available to stream in 4K. It also will be available in HD on the same day. You probably remember that the show originally aired in standard definition on NBC back in the 1990s. Well, it’s been remastered in both formats and made available to you… but only if you have a Netflix subscription. There’s always a catch, right?
The History of Streaming Seinfeld
In his past post, Stuart did a good job of tracing the show’s history on streaming services. (It kills me to type that.) Seinfeld’s original television run was on NBC and was produced by Sony Pictures. It used to be available on several streaming services, including Sony’s Crackle. That streaming service is now owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul; it’s no longer owned by Sony. It also doesn’t have Seinfeld.
Hulu acquired the sitcom sometime in 2019. By the summer of that year, Disney took control of Fox, which gave them control of Hulu. As a result – and no one really knows why – Disney let the rights to the show expire at the end of June 2021. Netflix quickly scooped up those right then did nothing with the series… at least not right away. That’s what prompted Stuart’s knee-jerk response on this blog.
Seinfeld in 4K Vs. HD
Why is Netflix offering it in both resolutions? Well, it all boils down to what plan you have. Do you want the sitcom with the kooky characters and funky bassline in 4K? You’ll need to have Netflix’s Premium Plan to get it. (It’s the streaming service’s most expensive subscription.) If you’re not ready to upgrade for Jerry and the gang, you can always watch it in HD on your Basic Plan. It’s up to you; I think the show will be hilarious no matter which way you watch it.
Was Stuart’s Seinfeld Post a Complete Setback?
No, it wasn’t. In fact, my grumpy colleague predicted exactly when the sitcom would be available to stream on Netflix. Here’s what he said in his post:
“It seems to me that they’re keeping the show off streaming to build demand so they can make a splashy debut with it in the fall when they need the exposure.”
So, you were right, Stuart. Spot on, actually. And it really pains me to have to say it. That’s why I waited until the very end of this post to do so.