SNL Has Made Lorne Michaels (And Many Others) Very Rich

Yahoo wants content. Further evidence: It paid a reported $10 million–plus for the rights to Saturday Night Live’s archive, effec­tive September 1. The deal is a harbinger of TV’s online future and a reminder that on-air longevity can make many companies very happy.

KEY:

♥ Production/management
☀ Syndication
★ Compilation dvd
♦ Online rights

1975
NBC
Original owner

1979
Broadway Video
Founded by Michaels, controls rights

1981
Filmways
First five seasons syndicated

1982
Orion Pictures
Bought Filmways

1997
SNL Studios
Joint venture with Michaels and NBC

1997
MGM
Acquired Orion’s post-bankruptcy holdings

1999
Lionsgate
First to buy DVD rights

2002
E!
Licensed all seasons’ rights

2004
NBC Universal ♥☀★♦
NBC merges with Vivendi Universal

2007
Hulu
Rights cost estimated at $10 million per year

2013
Yahoo
Marissa Mayer’s latest content score

[Everett Collection (Michaels, Curtin and Aykroyd, Murphy, Farley and Spade); NBC/NBCU Photo Bank Via Getty Images (Radner); Kobal Collection (Ferrell and Oteri, Fey and Poehler)]

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