Netflix Reportedly Paid $100 Million to Keep 'Friends' From Leaving in 2019

Social media was in an uproar over the weekend after it appeared that Friends would be leaving Netflix in January 2019, with fans seriously freaking out over the potential loss of their favorite sitcom.

After a notice was spotted on the series' Netflix page reading, "Availability Until 1/1/19," fans instantly wondered whether the popular show would be pulled from the streaming service. On Monday, Dec. 3, Netflix confirmed that Friends will remain on the service in 2019 with a photo of David Schwimmer's Ross Geller dressed as the holiday armadillo.

"The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: 'Friends' will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019," Netflix tweeted.

The New York Times reports that it cost Netflix $100 million to grant users that wish, with the streaming service reportedly paying that amount to Friends' owner, WarnerMedia. That number comes from two people with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss the deal.

In contrast, The Hollywood Reporter reports that the deal between WarnerMedia and Netflix is a multiple-year deal worth between $70 million-$80 million for 2019 alone, according to sources. Despite the difference from the NYT report, the new deal is still a major increase from the original four-year deal the two companies signed in 2014, which kept Friends streaming on Netflix for $30 million per year.

THR also notes that in 2020, the new agreement will give WarnerMedia the option to stream Friends on its own upcoming streaming service, which will rival Netflix. That could give Netflix non-exclusive streaming rights to the sitcom, though the contract also gives WarnerMedia the option to stream the show solely on its own service.

Friends originally arrived on Netflix in January 2015, and some people noted that the sitcom is the only reason they are subscribed to the streaming service.

"The only reason I have an account with Netflix is to rewatch Friends," singer Hayley Kiyoko tweeted. "Why @netflix are you hurting us."

Whatever the cost, the news that Friends is remaining on Netflix had Twitter users rejoicing.

Many people used Friends GIFs to express their elation.


Photo Credit: NBC