News broke this week that AT&T is paying $1 billion for the exclusive streaming rights to the Big Bang Theory. This is yet another example of the streaming wars currently transforming how television content gets consumed. Reruns of the recently ended series are slated for the HBO Max service.


HBO Max is a new streaming service. Logo copyright HBO.

Note that Big Bang Theory is still available on TBS until 2028. However, cordcutters without PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, or another streaming service with TBS are out of luck. Similar situations are playing out across other services as companies compete for those streaming exclusives.

The news about the Big Bang Theory agreement with HBO Max appeared on Engadget, among other sources.

Let’s take a look at the changing landscape of TV viewing habits, driven by the rise of streaming. We also check out the latest deals and exclusives; helping you make the best choice for your household.

HBO Max Making Noise With its Exclusives

In addition to the Big Bang Theory exclusive, HBO Max is also the new home of Friends. The exclusive for the popular 90s sitcom used to belong to Netflix. The Friends deal comes in at $425 million.

Not to be outdone, NBC recently paid $500 million for the streaming rights to The Office. Its home is to be the new NBC Peacock streaming service. Expect Modern Family to fetch a similar amount or more after its final season ends next year.

However, a simple question must be asked. Do these massive fees for exclusive rights to reruns make sense? Remember, these shows have been available through syndication for years.

Most cordcutters likely subscribe to a cable replacement service, like PS Vue, Fubo TV, or Sling in addition to these newer specialized services like NBC Peacock. Big Bang Theory already available on TBS might dissuade viewers from subscribing to HBO Max. Well, at least until the next Game of Thrones series launches!

The Increased Segmentation of the Streaming TV Industry

Once again, it’s questionable whether the fees paid for reruns of old TV series are wise? For its part, Netflix plans on investing more on its wildly popular original content, like Stranger Things. Either way, there’s no denying these exclusives are causing market segmentation in the streaming world.

Will these streaming wars lead cordcutters to spend over $100 per month subscribing to multiple services? That’s the biggest question, considering cost is a big reason for cordcutting in the first place. Expect the next few years to reveal the answer.

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