Bazinga! HBO Max has acquired the streaming rights to “Young Sheldon,” the prequel to the wildly popular “The Big Bang Theory.”
The new streaming service, which launched on Wednesday, inked the deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television. Both entities are owned by AT&T. “Young Sheldon” is one of several hit comedies that are exclusively available for streaming on HBO Max, which also boasts all episodes of “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
“In order for Sheldon Cooper to visit his younger self, he would need to manipulate spacetime. All you actually need is HBO Max,” series creators and executive producers Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro said in a statement. “We are so pleased that ‘Young Sheldon’ will once again be reunited with his future self on HBO Max, and we are excited for fans, new and old, to be able to binge both ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Young Sheldon’ for the first time.”
The company did not disclose terms of the deal and did not indicate when “Young Sheldon” would begin streaming on HBO max.
“Young Sheldon,” which airs on CBS, centers on a younger version of the iconic “The Big Bang Theory” character and follows the awkward preteen math prodigy’s adventures in high school as he tries to fit in in his Texas community. The show’s third season concluded in April and a fourth season has already been ordered.
The acquisition is a potentially significant one for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service; the company cited Nielsen data that said that “Young Sheldon” averaged more than 11.4 million viewers per week during the 2019-20 season. The series is one of the most popular ongoing comedies and its arrival on HBO Max could help broaden the platform’s appeal, as well as provide additional bingeworthy content for fans of “The Big Bang Theory.”
HBO Max previously raised eyebrows when WarnerMedia acquired “The Big Bang Theory” in a five-year deal that was expected to be one of the most expensive streaming pacts in history. Though WarnerMedia never disclosed the financial details of that deal, some estimates suggested that the acquisition was worth more than $1 billion.
While “The Big Bang Theory” and its Sheldon-focused prequel are major gets for HBO Max, it’s unclear if the acquisitions will pay off for the streaming service. AT&T chief financial officer John Stephens told investors in January that investments in HBO Max reduced AT&T’s revenue by 1.2 billion in Q4 due to “forgone licensing revenues.” Companies such as WarnerMedia receive considerable revenue by licensing popular shows to competing networks and services. “Young Sheldon” will need to be a significant draw for prospective HBO Max subscribers to warrant the company’s latest acquisition.
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