There's a bidding war for 'Seinfeld' streaming rights and it could top $90 million

The entire “Seinfeld” series may soon be available to watch online.

According to theWall Street Journal,Sony Pictures TV is in the process of shopping the show rights to digital buyers, including Hulu, Amazon, and Yahoo. The deal is expected to be done in the next few weeks.

WSJ noted on Friday: “The deal could fetch a price well north of half a million dollars per episode. There are 180 Seinfeld episodes.”

That could put “Seinfeld” streaming earnings over $US90 million, on top of the already reported $US3.1 billion in TV syndication revenue the show has earned since 1995.

While Netflixacquired “Friends” last yearfrom Warner Bros. for more than $US500,000 per-episode, a source told WSJ that Netflix is “taking a pass” on “Seinfeld.”

The exact price of the “Seinfeld” deal will depend, in part, on the length of the deal.

According to WSJ: “The ‘Friends’ agreement with Netflix runs for four years, which may be too short for some of the ‘Seinfeld’ bidders. One suitor said a price tag higher than ‘Friends’ doesn’t make sense if the contract is for less than ten years.”

Not that “Seinfeld” creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are hurting.

In 2013, Seinfeld was named Forbes’ highest-earning comedian for the third year in a row thanks tosyndication royalties of the show and an estimated $US27 million from more than 70 stand-up tour dates that year alone. Seinfeld’s net worth is estimated at around $US800 million.

Larry David, the co-creator and executive producer of “Seinfeld,” recently discussed his wealth on “60 Minutes.”

Post-the “Seinfeld” syndication deal, David’s net worth was around $US900 million.

When David and his wife of 14 years divorced in 2007, his fortune (no matter what it was exactly) was halved, thanks to California divorce laws. Today, the TV creator-comedian-actor’s net worth is reported to be about $US400 million. On “60 Minutes,” Charlie Rose said David’s net worth is closer to $US500 million.

Larry David Laurie DavidFrazer Harrison/Getty ImagesLarry and Laurie David were married from 1993 to 2007. Their divorce halved his fortune.

But David vehemently disputed rumours of his net worth to Rose during the segment.

In a clip available only on the CBS website, David insists “the figures that I read about the amount of money that I’ve made are so ridiculous, and it’s absurd. It’s unseemly, I don’t have that kind of money!”

“My wife took half of it in the divorce,” David confirmed.

When Rose asked if that was because he is generous, David responded, “No, that’s the law.”

Rose then asked if he would have preferred to have given her less, to which he replied: “Perhaps, who knows. No, after what I put her through I want her to be happy. It’s not an easy job to be with me. I don’t think of other people.”

Getting back to his net worth, David says he finds the reports of his finances “embarrassing.”

While he says “I honestly don’t know” how much “Seinfeld” has earned in syndication, David admits, “I have a lot of money” but still says “the figures out there are crazy.”

Rose tried to press David on an exact amount, telling his interview subject that he was worth “more than $US500 million.”

“Are you talking about me personally? Are you kidding me? Again, that’s just nuts,” replied David. “No, it’s not [$US500M]. And mind your own goddamn business.”

This isn’t the first time David has publicly denied his alleged net worth.

In 2011, he told Rolling Stone:

I don’t have anything near what I’m reputed to have. My wife got half of it, the whole thing is ridiculous, and yet people are obsessed with the fact that I’ve made millions of dollars from syndication.

It’s ok for all these other people you’ve interviewed to have it, but not me? Jerry’s not getting asked about how much money he has. Only I am. It comes down to, ‘Jerry deserves it, he starred in it, you got lucky!’… It doesn’t suit me, that’s why, it’s uncharacteristic for a person with my personality to have it, that’s what’s askew, right? Something’s off, and I agree with you. I shouldn’t! It’s an anomaly!

David said that as he grew richer he developed an allergy to caviar, which “was the perfect metaphor for my life.”

Celebrity Net Worth notes of David’s massive fortune:

The real windfall came when Seinfeld was sold in to syndication to Columbia Tristar. The day Seinfeld was sold into syndication Larry earned an estimated $US650 million. Add to that his prior personal fortune of $US30 million plus all the money he has earned since starring in Curb and Larry is a very happy man. Another great annuity for David has been the periodic releases of Seinfeld DVD box sets. Every few years a new season is unleashed to a frenzied public with a huge marketing blitz. DVD sales can easily add another $US40-50 million to Larry’s bottom line.

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