Netflix typically doesn’t reveal its viewership numbers, but it is known that one of the most popular shows on the streaming service is “The Office”, which ran for nine seasons from 2005 until 2013.
The reason: NBCUniversal wants to run it exclusively on its own streaming service when it launches, reports The Hollywood Reporter, paying a whopping $100 million per year in order to outbid Netflix to the rights to the Steve Carell-starring comedy.
According to THR, sources say that Universal — which produced the series — had been considering “numerous deals,” including one in which it would share “The Office” with Netflix, with an option to take it exclusively to the NBCU streaming service after one year.
“’The Office’ has become a staple of pop culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before,” Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal DTC and digital enterprises, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
Meanwhile, Netflix will also be losing another one of its top performers when its current deal to stream “Friends” runs out AFTER paying a reported $80 million for the rights to the beloved sitcom.
That’s because WarnerMedia (the parent company of “Friends” studio Warner Bros.) will be launching its own streaming service, which will be populated with WB content, while Disney recently announced plans for its Disney+ streaming service, which will feature Disney-owned content — including “Star Wars”, Marvel Studios and Pixar releases — none of which will be good news for Netflix.
Netflix cushioned the blow by sending fans a Twitter reminder that Carell will soon be seen in upcoming Netflix comedy “Space Force”, based on the Trump administration’s planned outer-space arm of the U.S. military.
Fans of the show quickly took to Twitter to share their displeasure — using “Office” memes, of course — and their plans to dump their Netflix subscriptions when “The Office” exits.