Another day, another Netflix-related panic.
Recently, NBC announced that it would be starting its own streaming service, and those of us who have The Office on repeat practically 24/7 started to wonder if we were going to have to invest in yet another streaming platform in order to keep that stream up. For now, the show will remain on Netflix, but as NBC co-chairmen George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy explained at the NATPE Miami Beach conference, that could change relatively soon.
"The Office has been on Netflix for 10 years and it's still in their top five," Cheeks said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "The licensing deal is up in a couple years, it will be interesting to see where that goes."
In December, it was reported by The New York Times that Netflix paid around $100 million to keep Friends available to stream through 2019, after the entire internet started to freak out at the prospect of the show leaving the site. After 2019, the future is unclear.
Warner Bros parent company AT&T is also starting its own streaming service, so that's where Friends could go starting in 2020. AT&T's streaming service will launch at the end of this year, featuring multiple tiers for WarnerMedia movies and TV shows. (Disney will also have its own streaming service, just in case you need yet another one!)
NBC's streaming service, which is scheduled to launch in 2020, will be free for cable subscribers, supported by ads, but an ad-free version will also be available for a fee, somewhat similar to Hulu. Which series go to which platforms will be judged on a "case-by-case basis," according to THR, but it already sounds like TV fans might just end up subscribing to every gosh darn platform there is in order to keep all our shows close.
For now though, Netflix has got us covered, and if that "case-by-case basis" has anything to do with pricing, maybe Netflix has another $100 million it's willing to hand over to keep Dunder Mifflin around. Or maybe we'll just have to watch it on that NBC streaming service we will, let's be real, be subscribed to anyway. Somehow, some way, somebody's got to let us watch The Office, and that's really all we know for sure.
E! and NBC are both part of the NBC Universal family.