The streaming giant will stop streaming the iconic sitcom in the U.S. at the start of 2020, leaving Netflix users less than six months to binge watch all 10 seasons.
The show is moving to WarnerMedia’s new streaming service, officially named HBO Max, which will launch in the spring of 2020. “Friends” was produced by Warner Bros. Studios and originally aired on NBC.
Netflix announced the show’s departure with a nostalgic tweet ― and a nod to the show’s quirky episode titles ― on Tuesday.
“The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye,” the company wrote, adding, “Thanks for the memories, gang.”
WarnerMedia outbid Netflix for the rights to the show for a period of five years, paying $85 million for each year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Along with “Friends,” WarnerMedia also gained the rights to air “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Pretty Little Liars” on HBO Max.
Last month, Netflix announced that it would be losing another cult favorite to a competing streaming service. “The Office” will be moving to NBCUniversal’s still-to-be-launched streaming service when the show’s contract with Netflix ends at the end of 2020.
As new streaming services continue to pop up, Netflix could see more of its non-original programming return to the companies that originally produced the shows. In May, AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson said that WarnerMedia would start buying back licensing rights to some of its shows, according to Variety. (AT&T owns WarnerMedia.)
“What you’ll see happen over time, more and more of that $14 billion will be directed to content for our own platforms,” Stephenson said.
After Netflix announced that “Friends” was leaving its library, fans of the show were disappointed and not afraid to express it.
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