HBO Max May Pay $1.5 Billion To Stream All Of 'Big Bang Theory' And 'Two And A Half Men', 'Seinfeld' Could Be Next

The streaming wars are heating up as a few different media companies prepare to launch their own streaming services over the next year. While Disney+ will be first out of the gate this fall, WarnerMedia's HBO Max won't be far behind, and they're throwing around all sorts of money to ensure they get as many subscriptions as possible.

Right now, negotiations are taking place for HBO Max to pick up the exclusive streaming rights to The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, and they might end up paying as much as $1.5 billion to land all 541 episodes that make up the two shows combined. That's significantly more than the $425 million that HBO Max already paid for the exclusive streaming rights to Friends, and even more than the $500 million NBC Universal paid for The Office. Why are these two shows so expensive?

Deadline has word on this massive deal being put together to expand the HBO Max programming roster with Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory streaming rights. The reason they're willing to pay so much is that neither of the shows have actually ever been available to stream in their entirety. During their run, the shows only ever had some of the episodes from the current season available to watch. It's the same thing that Warner Bros. Television did with Friends before the show struck a deal with Netflix back in 2014.

That seems like a lot of money for show that got dragged through the mud quite a bit. But no one can deny that those were two of the most popular CBS sitcoms in recent memory, and there are a lot of people out there who love them. That makes them all the more enticing, especially when you consider how lucrative the deals for shows like The Office and Friends have been for Netflix, and those are two shows that have been endlessly popular on streaming. The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men are bound to follow in their footsteps once fans know the entire series is available on HBO Max.

Seinfeld Entering the Streaming Market Again

While HBO Max works through a complex deal to snag The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, a more revered classic sitcom may be looking for a new streaming home.

Right now, Sony Pictures Television holds the rights to all episodes of Seinfeld, and they're currently locked into an exclusive streaming deal at Hulu through 2020, and TBS has cable rights to the series as well. But Sony worked out each of the deals so that all of the rights to Seinfeld are available again at the same time. They're already waving the show at the likes of HBO Max and Netflix to pick it up once those deals run out at the end of 2020. The studio hopes to land a figure close to what Friends pulled in.

However, even though Seinfeld is one of the most beloved sitcoms of the 1990s, it's not one of Hulu's biggest performers. That might be because Seinfeld has been playing in syndication for a longer time than the other popular sitcoms available on streaming. As much as fans love Seinfeld, it's not the kind of comedy show that everybody latched onto, mostly because its humor isn't for everyone. But it should still result in a decent sale for Sony Pictures Television.

It sounds like the future of entertainment at home will be in picking and choosing which streaming services have your favorite shows and movies, which comes close to the a la carte cable options that subscribers once wanted so long ago. But even so, we're betting that some of these streaming services aren't going to last very long.