When Is Friends Actually Leaving Netflix? TV Exec Says the Sitcom Will Move to a New Service
The beloved sitcom is likely going to be streaming exclusively on WarnerMedia's new platform
Start binge-watching now: Friends will likely be leaving Netflix at some point soon.
Last December, fans of the beloved sitcom revolted when they noticed an expiration date of Jan. 1, 2019, on the show’s landing page on Netflix.
Days later, it was reported that the streaming giant agreed to pay around $100 million to continue licensing the program through 2019 from its owner, WarnerMedia. (Netflix, which acquired all 236 episodes on Jan. 1, 2015, had previously paid $30 million a year to stream the show.)
Now, it looks like it’s probably going to exit Netflix after all. Deadline and TVLine report that TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly, who is involved in the oversee of the new WarnerMedia streaming service, told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this week that the series is bound to play exclusively on the new platform.
“I think you can expect the crown jewels of Warner will ultimately end up on our new service. Pulling it away [from Netflix]? It’s certainly something we’re willing to do,” he said. “I think for the most part, sharing destination assets like that is not a good model to share — my belief is that they should be exclusive.”
The New York Times previously reported that the deal to keep Friends on Netflix was indeed due to expire by the end of 2018, but both Netflix and AT&T, WarnerMedia’s parent company, had been negotiating for at least a few months to extend it.
According to the Times, AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, had previously said that the new agreement between the two was nonexclusive, meaning Friends could appear on the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service by 2020. However, it was always possible that Friends could leave Netflix after 2019, as AT&T will likely have to keep some of its content off other services to attract new streaming customers.
Friends ran for 10 seasons from 1994-2004.