Hulu has acquired one more formidable weapon in the competition for being the most popular streaming video on demand service on the Internet - "Seinfeld."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu has snagged a $180 million agreement with Sony Pictures Television, which holds distribution rights to the long-running 1990s sitcom, to stream all 180 episodes of the "show about nothing." The agreement is expected to be announced by Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast, which jointly own Hulu, on Thursday.

Specific details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but persons familiar with the matter claim that each episode cost Hulu somewhere around $700,000, with most of the proceeds of the agreement going to Time Warner's Warner Bros., which now owns "Seinfeld" producer Castle Rock Entertainment. The show's star and co-creator, Jerry Seinfeld and co-creator Larry David are also profit participants and are expected to receive their own shares as well. In 2010, Warner Bros. said "Seinfeld" generated $2.7 billion in revenue from syndication.

A limited number of "Seinfeld" episodes are streamed on Sony TV's Crackle platform, which features ads to subsidize free streaming for its viewers. However, the deal with Hulu marks the first time the NBC comedy sitcom will be streamed in its entirety. Reruns are also available on cable TV channel TBS and local TV stations, but Hulu believes there is a "Seinfeld" audience to be found in cord cutters who no longer have pay TV subscriptions.

The deal was reportedly snatched out from under the noses of Amazon and Yahoo, which are both looking to reinforce their content libraries in order to compete better with Netflix. The streaming video leader, on the other hand, is said to have bowed out of the race for "Seinfeld," opting instead to pay around $500,000 to stream Warner Bros.' "Friends" for the next four years.

Hulu and Amazon have been more aggressive in the acquisition of network-based content. Before "Seinfeld," Hulu announced that it will start streaming reruns of the hit CBS procedural drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Amazon also struck a deal with HBO to air many of its shows, including "Girls" and "The Sopranos." Yahoo, on the other hand, recently purchased a few episodes of NBC's comedy sitcom "Community."


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