- “Friends” is leaving Netflix next year for WarnerMedia’s streaming service, the company announced Tuesday.
- The upcoming service, called HBO Max, will be the show’s exclusive streaming home, and will be available at launch in spring 2020.
- NBCUniversal is pulling “The Office” in 2021 for its own service.
- “Friends” and “The Office” were Netflix’s most popular shows in 2018 in the US, according to data from analytics firm Jumpshot.
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“Friends” is officially leaving Netflix after this year.
The Warner Bros.-produced hit sitcom will move from Netflix to WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, WarnerMedia announced on Tuesday. The new platform, called HBO Max, will be the exclusive streaming home to the entirety of “Friends” when it launches in spring 2020.
WarnerMedia paid $US425 million ($US85 million a year for five years) for the rights to “Friends,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Netflix and WarnerMedia, the company formed in the merger of AT&T and Time Warner last year, struck a deal in December in which Netflix could keep “Friends” on its service throughout 2019. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the deal allowed the “flexibility” to put the show on the WarnerMedia service.
Netflix paid up to $US100 million to keep “Friends” this year, The New York Times reported, much more than the $US30 million it was previously paying per year for the series rights.
Netflix tweeted on Tuesday, “The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye. We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US). Thanks for the memories, gang.”
As more media companies enter the streaming war with their own platforms, more licensed content will likely leave Netflix. NBCUniversal is planning to pull “The Office” in 2021 for its own streaming service.
“The Office” and “Friends” were Netflix’s most popular shows in the US in 2018, according to data from analytics company Jumpshot. The chart below shows the top ten: