A year ago The Hollywood Reporter, announced that Friends would be leaving Netflix, but that announcement was quickly rebutted stating that Friends would not be leaving Netflix on January 1, 2019 but that it could leave anytime after that. Well it is finally happening and the hit show will be leaving Netflix in early 2020.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Friends will be taken off Netflix and put on WarnerMedia’s streaming service, HBO Max. HBO Max is set to launch in the spring of 2020 debuting with 10,000 hours of premium content. WarnerMedia is said to have spent $85 million per year for five years (for a total of $425 million) to get the Emmy Award winning show on its own service inevitably outbidding Netflix.
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 ☕
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 9, 2019
Last year Netflix paid an extra $80-$100 million to keep the show for another year, and when that contract expires it will make its move to HBO Max. WarnerMedia has already acquired shows such as Batwoman, Katy Keen, the Riverdale spinoff, and other CW shows which are all produced by Warner Brothers TV. Luckily for fans of these shows WarnerMedia will wait to take these shows off of Netflix and onto their streaming service until their contracts with Netflix expire, and current shows like Riverdale and The Flash finish their runs.
The news of Friends leaving Netflix comes only weeks after the announcement of The Office leaving the streaming service for NBCUniversal’s streaming service. Both Friends and The Office contribute as the most watched shows on Netflix with The Office averaging 7.19% of total viewership and Friends averaging 4.13% of total viewership as of December 2018.
HBO Max is set to release in spring of 2020 with a variety of television shows and movies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the chairman of WarnerMedia, Robert Greenblatt stated, “HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends.”
Friends will be leaving Netflix in early 2020.