HBO

HBO Max gets U.S. streaming rights for "The Big Bang Theory"

Screen grab from "The Solder Excursion Diversion" episode from The Big Bang Theory
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS/Getty Images

HBO Max has acquired the U.S. streaming rights to all 12 seasons of "The Big Bang Theory" for 5 years in a deal worth close to $500 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Streaming services are increasingly willing to enter into mega-deals for the streaming rights to enduringly popular network shows to provide a foundation to draw in viewers along with their original content.

Go deeper: Seinfeld is coming to Netflix in 2021

Two Americas, tuning each other out

Data: Google; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The country's heightening polarization extends even to the television we watch, severing another thread of America's collective consciousness as it gears up for the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: Americans used to have only a few TV options, leading to moments of mass culture like The Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" or the "M*A*S*H" finale. But just as the spread of social media jumpstarted political tribalization, the rise of cable and streaming services has necessitated a need for a wealth of content — increasingly targeted and niche — that has hastened a cultural splintering.