AT&T pulls 'Friends' from Netflix for its streaming service

Lawrence Kim
July 11, 2019

Max is scheduled to launch next spring with 10,000 hours of programming, WarnerMedia said in a statement. It is now also preparing to lose the entire library of Friends, reputedly one of its most popular shows, after HBO Max paid around $400 million for rights over five years.

Aside from well-known content, HBO Max will also feature brand new shows, which have been termed Max Originals, and movies. Entertainment companies are pulling some of their stuff from Netflix to stock their own services. The DC logo was also prominently featured in the video package. Its service debuts in 2020.

In addition to "Friends", HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air", "Pretty Little Liars", and the upcoming CW series "Batwoman" and "Katy Keene".

"Friends", a TV hit in the 1990s, was the second-most-watched show on Netflix in the United States when measured by minutes streamed, according to Nielsen data for 2018. The company has said it isn't anxious about the increased competition.

AT&T also said Tuesday that the teen drama "Pretty Little Liars", now on Netflix, will move to its service, and that it will be the exclusive streaming hub for "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and future Warner Bros. dramas made for The CW, the broadcast network it co-owns with CBS.

A spokesman for Netflix in the United Kingdom confirmed to Chortle: 'This only applies to the US.

It has already ordered a raft of original series, including an adaptation based around Frank Herbert's novel Dune, true-life drama Tokyo Vice, and romantic comedy Love Life starring Anna Kendrick.

"I don't think any specific content matters at all" to Netflix, said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. The loss of "Friends" by itself isn't a big deal, he said.

The streamer's launch comes at a time of huge competition in the streaming market, with Disney, NBCUniversal and Apple all preparing to enter a market that has to date been dominated by Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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