Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Poor, lonely Netflix had to pay $100 million to keep its Friends

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Having been briefly subjected to the horrific possibility of the Netflix Compound being overrun this week by a horde of perfect-haired Friends fanatics—swarming locust-like over the walls, and brutally snapping executive necks with bloodthirsty screams of “WE WERE ON A BREAK”—the online video service quickly acquiesced to demands that it move heaven and earth to keep the NBC comfort food sitcom in its roster for at least another year. It didn’t come cheap, though; the one-year expansion to Netflix’s licensing deal for the show with owner WarnerMedia reportedly cost the company a cool $100 million.

That’s a $70 million annual jump up from what the service paid the last time it negotiated for the series, and suggests that Warner knows exactly how important that “Oh god, the world is awful, let’s just watch the pretty people in their improbably large apartments” demographic is to Netflix’s brand identity. The streaming giant is almost certain to lose its exclusive hold on the Friends fandom/cult soon, though; Warner is expected to fight to include the series on its own new streaming service—launching in late 2019—although it’s possible that the two companies will both retain streaming rights to the show. (Which will at least be a little cheaper for Netflix at that point, because it won’t be paying for that much-vaunted exclusivity any more.)

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[via The New York Times]

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