‘Friends’ leaving Netflix in 2020

WarnerMedia will use ‘Friends’ to stock its new HBO Max streaming service starting next year

Logo for WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) recently paid $80 million to keep Friends on its service through 2019 and will lose the streaming rights to another classic show, The Office, in early 2021. Though HBO Max is billed as a direct-to-consumer service, AT&T executives have hinted that it will also be pay-TV friendly, likely meaning that cable operators and other distributors will also have an opportunity to sell HBO Max to their video customers. Friends is going to be leaving Netflix on January 1st, 2020 and remain away from a streaming service up until Spring 2020 when it'll launch on the newly announced HBO Max platform.

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. TV's new CW shows Batwoman and Katy Keene, a spinoff of Riverdale beginning with the fall 2019 season.

Greg Berlanti - the man behind The CW's Arrowverse - and Reese Witherspoon will be producing original films for HBO Max. By bringing it in-house, WarnerMedia is banking that "Friends" fans will migrate for a new streaming service. Are you still watching Friends?

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As more companies unveil their own streaming services, they're trying to make them more appealing with exclusive shows and deep libraries and pulling some of their stuff from Netflix. The streaming service will also include brand-new shows, called "Max Originals", and movies.

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Max is the name of WarnerMedia's forthcoming streaming service, which is being built to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and other collections of TV and movie programming. Without resorting to a Google search, how many of you can explain the difference between HBO Max, HBO Go and HBO Now?

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HBO Max will launch to the public in the spring of 2020, a little later than originally expected.

So, if you're in mid-rewatch of all the awkward, ridiculously messy, yet somehow hilarious situations that Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey get into, we suggest you savor these moments. A price for HBO Max hasn't been set yet, but it is likely to be slightly more than the $14.99 HBO Now costs, people familiar with the matter said.

AT&T survived an antitrust challenge and a year ago finalized a deal to acquire Time Warner, which included the Warner Bros studios, Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and other assets for some $85 billion.

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