Friends is leaving Netflix for HBO Max

Three of the titular friends from TV's "FRIENDS."
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images)

When it comes to retaining the streaming rights to classic sitcoms, it hasn't been Netflix's day, their week, their month, or even their year.

WarnerMedia on Tuesday announced that Friends in 2020 will become an exclusive to its new streaming service, which has just been named HBO Max, The Hollywood Reporter writes. This confirms that the series is officially being pulled off of Netflix after this year.

Netflix came close to losing Friends last year, but it paid around $100 million to keep streaming the series just until the end of 2019. Many speculated that Friends would leave the platform after that point, but the new deal with WarnerMedia was non-exclusive, and there initially remained the possibility that the show could be made available both on Netflix and on the WarnerMedia streaming service in 2020. Now, however, we know that won't be the case.

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On Twitter, Netflix once again informed subscribers about the impending loss of a wildly popular show, writing that they're "sorry" to see Friends leave next year.

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Less than two weeks ago, it was announced that Netflix is also set to lose The Office, which is headed to a new streaming service from NBCUniversal. Those streaming rights reportedly cost NBCUniversal about $500 million, and similarly, the Reporter writes that WarnerMedia paid $425 million in a five-year deal for Friends. They can only hope that this investment will be worth it and that subscribers will be there for them when HBO Max launches in spring 2020.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.