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HBO Max to stream Big Bang

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HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service from AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, has secured exclusive five-year streaming rights in the United States to all 12 seasons of comedy hit The Big Bang Theory. Ranked as the No. 1 comedy on US television for the past seven years, the show has garnered an audience of some 20 million people. The rights for the show cost HBO Max between $500 million and $600 million, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. All 279 episodes will be available on HBO Max when it launches in the spring of 2020, WarnerMedia said in a statement. Winning rights to hit shows has become expensive in a crowded streaming industry dominated by Netflix Inc., Hulu and Amazon.com’s Prime Video. Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. have also announced their own streaming services. Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal said on Tuesday it would name its upcoming streaming service “Peacock” and offer a broad slate of original content, including Dr. Death starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin. Peacock will also offer classic sitcoms The Office and Parks and Recreation and is scheduled to be launched in 2020, NBCUniversal said. The company owns traditional television network NBC, which features a peacock in its logo. Netflix Inc., poised to lose The Office to Peacock in 2021, said on Monday it had landed the global streaming rights for classic TV sitcom Seinfeld. The Office was the most-watched show on Netflix in the United States, followed by Friends, when measured by minutes streamed, according to Nielsen data for 2018. — Reuters

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