Here's what Netflix paid to keep 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S'


06 Dec 2018

Netflix pays hefty package to WarnerMedia to keep streaming F.R.I.E.N.D.S

The popularity and cultural significance of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, as a show, remains uncontested.

The show was recently in the news as fans angrily took to social media when they found out that the sitcom might be leaving Netflix in 2019.

However, it was later confirmed that it wouldn't leave Netflix until 2020, as we reported.

Here's what Netflix had to do to keep streaming F.R.I.E.N.D.S.


Fans reacted aggressively after news of 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' exit became public

The problem arose after fans noticed on the show's page that it would be leaving Netflix in January 2019.

This immediately caused an uproar since F.R.I.E.N.D.S would not be available for streaming on any platform.

Things were finally brought under control on December 3, Monday, after Netflix's Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, said the show produced by Warner Bros TV would remain through 2019.


Netflix signs multi-year pact with WarnerMedia, retains F.R.I.E.N.D.S

F.R.I.E.N.D.S is staying back on Netflix after the streaming giant signed a multi-year pact (costing between $70 and $80mn in 2019 itself), with WarnerMedia, reports suggested.

However, the NY Times had reported the deal was worth $100mn.

The current contract is a massive leap from the one signed in 2014 for $30mn annually, allowing Netflix to exclusively stream F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

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Key points

2019 is when Netflix loses non-exclusive rights to the show

AT&T owned WarnerMedia can stream F.R.I.E.N.D.S on their upcoming SVOD platform from 2020, according to the new contract.

Therefore, after 2019, Netflix would have non-exclusive rights to the show, which could also be streamed at rival WarnerMedia's platform at a price currently under negotiation.

According to the deal, WarnerMedia could also terminate the pact with Netflix and stream F.R.I.E.N.D.S exclusively on their platform.


F.R.I.E.N.D.S remains one of Netflix's most viewed acquired series

Though some expressed discontent at Netflix shelling out big bucks to retain F.R.I.E.N.D.S and canceling shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage, the popularity of the sitcom remains unparalleled.

It is one of Netflix's most viewed acquired series and the new contract signals an era where media giants like Disney, Apple are spending big on programming to define their brands and attract viewers and subscribers.

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