The Warner Bros. sitcom rakes in a total of $1 billion annually and $20 million for each cast member

By Joelle Goldstein
December 28, 2018 09:00 PM
Friends cast
Courtesy Everett Collection

How’s the Friends cast doin’? Rolling in the dough.

Fourteen years after the beloved sitcom went off the air, the show’s main six cast members, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, continue to bring in a very hefty income each year, according to USA Today.

The stars all receive 2 percent of the syndication income, the outlet reported.

Because the Warner Bros. show brings in a total of $1 billion annually for the network, that means each cast member rakes in $20 million every year.

Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994-2004 and continues to be watched by fans, both in syndication and on Netflix, which acquired all 236 episodes on Jan. 1, 2015.

The cast of Friends
Reisig/Getty

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Earlier this month, fans collectively lost it when they noticed an expiration date of Jan. 1, 2019, on the show’s landing page on Netflix.

But on Dec. 3, the streaming service confirmed that the beloved sitcom would remain available in the U.S. throughout 2019 — and according to the New York Times, the extra year came with a hefty price tag.

The company reportedly paid around $100 million to continue licensing the program from its owner, WarnerMedia. Netflix had previously paid $30 million a year to stream the show.

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According to the Times, the deal to keep Friends on Netflix was indeed due to expire by the end of the year, but both Netflix and AT&T, WarnerMedia’s parent company, had been negotiating for at least a few months to extend it.

AT&T, meanwhile, plans to begin a streaming service of its own by the end of 2019, with Friends likely to appear on their coming service by 2020, the Times reported.

AT&T and Netflix are reportedly negotiating rates for after 2019 that would be significantly lower than $100 million, since the show would no longer stream exclusively on Netflix.

However, it’s also possible that Friends could leave Netflix after next year, as AT&T will likely have to keep some of its content off other services to attract new streaming customers.

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