Sunday, 20 October, 2019

Netflix Subscribers, Say Goodbye to Friends

Image via NBC Image via NBC
Lora Ball | 10 July, 2019, 01:59

"We're sorry to see "Friends" go to Warner's steaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US)", Netflix tweeted after WarnerMedia's announcement.

Even before we get to the launch of HBO Max, we should note that the streaming landscape will also have seen the arrival of rival services from both Disney and Apple this fall. It will also have at launch exclusive streaming rights to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Pretty Little Liars, and will be the streaming home for Batwoman and Katy Keene, two of The CW's upcoming series.

Although Netflix rarely publishes viewership figures, it reportedly paid $100 million to extend streaming rights by just one year for the New York-based sitcom starring Jennifer Aniston in 2018. There will also be a number of Max Original movies and series coming to the service over the next couple of years, such as Stephen King's "The Outsider." and "Dune: The Sisterhood". Or at least makes Netflix looks as if losing Friends is out of its hands, which it basically is.

The streaming service will feature exclusive originals the "best-of-the-best from the WarnerMedia protfolio".

Also, subscribers will have to choose whether they now want to spend the reported $15-18 a month on HBO Max.

Friends is now Netflix's No. 2 show, behind The Office (also set to depart the streaming giant and head to an upcoming NBCUniversal service).

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A statement from Netflix US said: "We're sad that NBC has chose to take The Office back for its own streaming platform - but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021".

All told, WarnerMedia is promising plenty of programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes on HBO Max.

The AT&T-owned media company talked up its then-unnamed service during its upfront presentation in May. Consider this a sign that eventually, all of The CW's Warner Brothers-produced shows could land on HBO Max as opposed to Netflix.

Netflix had reupped its deal with Warner Bros.

HBO's programming president Casey Bloys will continue to manage content on the new service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased by 50% over normal spending.

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