If you’re a fan of Seinfeld or are always keeping up with the latest about Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) or even Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) for that matter, you’ve probably heard about the bidding war to stream the iconic show.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) were bidding for the right to exclusive right to stream Seinfeld to the tune of $90 million or over $500,000 per episode. However, Merrill Barr, a Forbes contributor, argues that that’s too high a price to pay for the show.
Just to be clear, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has reportedly bowed out of the bidding war for the show which leaves Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Hulu in the fray. Still, it doesn’t mean that the bidding race is winding down. Which leads us to Barr’s argument that the price for Seinfeld is too high given the current context the bidding is happening in.
“[…]if this is indeed the case, then whoever ends up with the streaming rights will have overpaid for the exclusive rights to a series that’s anything but a rare commodity in the modern era,” Barr writes for Forbes.
Barr notes that the show is essentially a cash cow for Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE). It’s success and status, however, is precisely why Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) may be bidding too high for the show.
“[…] the series is pretty much available on a daily basis to anyone looking to seek it out. Of course, there are certain episodes that have fallen out of syndication because they aren’t as popular with mainstream audiences as others, but the point stands that Seinfeld is readily accessible to just about everyone,” Barr writes.
Furthermore, he says that Seinfeld really does not have that much value for entertainment content streaming as its format is not beneficial for these kinds of services.
It remains to be seen at what price Seinfeld will go for and what company will ultimately own the right to exclusively stream the show.
Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management owned about 2.42 million Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares by the end of the December quarter. James Dinan’s York Capital owned about 9.4 million Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares by the end of the same quarter.
Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management owned about 1.79 million Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares by the end of 2014. The stake in Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which made up 5.8% of Coatue’s whole portfolio, was down 14% quarter over quarter.
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