‘Friends’ to leave Netflix for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service, HBO Max

Say goodbye to watching reruns of “Friends” on Netflix -- this time for good.

WarnerMedia announced Tuesday it will be moving all 236 episodes of the popular sitcom to its new streaming service, HBO Max. Several other shows, such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Pretty Little Liars,” will also be available on the service, which is set to launch in spring 2020

“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends,’” WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a news release on Tuesday.

Netflix also confirmed it’s saying goodbye to the hit sitcom.

“The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye. We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner's streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US). Thanks for the memories, gang,” Netflix tweeted.

HBO Max joins HBO's other service, HBO Now, which costs $14.99 a month and has more than 8 million subscribers. It's unclear how much the new streaming service will cost.

Along with "Friends" and other popular shows, HBO Max will also have several original shows and movies. Some projects that have been announced include "Love Life" starring Anna Kendrick and "The Flight Attendant" starring Kaley Cuoco. Reese Witherspoon, one of the stars of HBO series "Big Little Lies," also signed on to produce at least two movies for HBO Max.

"Friends" will stream exclusively on WarnerMedia's new streaming service HBO Max. (Warner Bros. Television)

Netflix has become one of the top streaming services in the industry, remaining ad-free while increasing the monthly subscription cost from $8.99 to $12.99 in the last five years. It now faces increasing competition within the streaming service market. Along with WarnerMedia's HBO Max, new services set to launch include Disney+ and Apple TV Plus.

The Tuesday announcement is another blow to Netflix, which paid WarnerMedia about $100 million to keep “Friends” on its service late last year, the New York Times reported. The payment was a significant jump from the $30 million a year Netflix had previously paid to add the show to its library.

Subscribers lashed out at Netflix after initially seeing a notice that said the series would stop streaming in January 2019. The streaming giant later confirmed in December 2018 that the show would remain on its service until at least the end of the year.

“The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: “Friends” will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019,” the company wrote in a tweet.


Last month, NBCUniversal announced "The Office" will leave Netflix by January 2021 and stream exclusively on its new streaming service, set to launch next year, for at least five years.