The hit comedy series, Seinfeld, is now a thing of the past - the
last episode was broadcast in the US by NBC on 14 May. If estimates
prove correct, the advertising rates for this episode will have broken
records, even beating the rates for this year’s SuperBowl which reached
dollars 1.3 million.
There has been talk of the last Seinfeld grossing figures in the region
of dollars 65 million from the 56 spots available (Campaign, 3
While the brands that chose to advertise in the final show were just the
sort of big names you would expect to use such a high-profile
opportunity (Sony Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Fuji Film and
Mastercard), the sponsors of some of the fan-generated Websites were
more unusual. While browsing through Mike’s Killer Seinfeld Page
(below), I clicked on a sponsor icon for the Sex Museum - Special
Masters’ Collection (right). The explicit, close-up pictures that
appeared on my screen in full view of the rest of the office were
difficult to justify to my fellow colleagues. Mike goes on to encourage
fans to subscribe and so earn him some money.
No such delights were available on the official NBC Seinfeld site (below
right), which was, if anything, somewhat bland. It had all the obvious
inclusions: character profiles, facts and viewer figures emphasising the
show’s popularity, lists of awards Seinfeld has won, trivia and episode
information. Popular as the series may be, now it is off the air I
wouldn’t be surprised if NBC has chosen to invest in Websites for
programmes that are still running.
While browsing I discovered that the State newspaper was running a
feature about Seinfeld Websites to tie in with the ending of the series,
and its site revealed that Castle Rock, the show’s producer, has
registered a site - www/seinfeld.com - but has yet to do anything with
The official Seinfeld sites have been criticised for not providing
enough information in the run-up to the finale and were blamed for the
subsequent mass speculation that arose, not just on the Internet. The
State page also discussed the relative merits of the site produced by
Columbia TriStar, the broadcaster responsible for Seinfeld’s repeat
runs. The site has, according to the State, several original features,
such as a virtual tour of Jerry’s apartment.
The show’s fans provided the more ingenious pages. A general search with
an online index, such as Yahoo!, listed more than 60 Seinfeld sites,
many of them offering advice on how fans should cope with the
termination of their favourite show.
Seinfeld.miningco.com had a whole host of suggestions to help devastated
fans survive without Seinfeld. The fan-generated sites threw up a
plethora of alternative storyline endings for the series, ranging from a
mass suicide to a surprise lesbian confession. All the suggestions were
equally ludicrous but the creators of the sites stand faithfully by
their personal Seinfeld theories.