Lorne Michaels has in his possession a content library filled with of one of the most valuable franchises in the history of modern entertainment. The complete Saturday Night Live archives stretches back to the show’s inception in 1975 and features sketches from the most iconic names in Hollywood and comedy, including John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Norm Macdonald, Kevin Nealon, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and many, many more.
It’s a goldmine of programming, access to which Brian Stelter at the New York Times writes some analysts estimate at being worth upwards of $10 million a year. And now Yahoo will stream it.
The online destination averaging over 50 million unique online video viewers in the US per month just inked a deal with Michael’s production company Broadway Video that will make Yahoo the exclusive home for SNL archives from 1975 to 2013. That includes on-air sketches, select musical performances, and dozens of making-of, behind-the-scenes and dress rehearsal clips.
“Saturday Night Live is legendary for launching new talent, providing witty commentary on current events, and delighting fans the world over,” Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! President and CEO, said. “We are thrilled to give Yahoo! users the most comprehensive collection of SNL content available on the web, and make Yahoo! a home for current season clips, as well as clips from the entire 38-season archive.”
Yahoo will non-exclusively stream clips from the current SNL season (which you’ll still be able to find – for the time being – on Hulu, too) far and wide across its global network. But come September, it will be the sole online destination for clips from 1975 to 2012 (at which point, any and all archival SNL videos will be removed from Hulu and NBC.com).
Yahoo presumably made the move to further differentiate itself from online video competitor YouTube in terms of the quality of the programming it offers audiences. Executives at the company are touting SNL as a key addition to its portfolio of premium programming, including Steramy Award-winning Buring Love and upcoming shows like The Fuzz and Jack Black’s Ghost Ghirls.
Check out the blog post from Mayer announcing the partnership here.