'The Office' leaving Netflix for NBCUniversal’s streaming service

NBCUniversal is paying big bucks to get "The Office" to stream exclusively on its upcoming streaming service.

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The network announced Tuesday "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. NBCU said the beloved show is its “most prized series.”

“‘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 Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, said in a news release. “We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”

Bringing the hit comedy back home to NBCU for its new service didn't come cheap, especially with Netflix still vying to hold on to the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sources told the magazine that NBC and Netflix, along with several other companies, went to meetings to discuss obtaining rights to "The Office."

NBCU ultimately outbid Netflix by agreeing to pay $100 million a year to have the series stream on its service — amounting to $500 million in total for the five-year deal, The Hollywood Reporter stated. Netflix reportedly paid $100 million for its current deal.

Rumors about the series’ departure from Netflix have been swirling for some time. “The Office” was the most-watched Netflix show in 2018, according to Jumpshot, but many said the show would eventually leave the streaming service despite its popularity.

Netflix addressed the hit comedy’s departure on Twitter.

“We're sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” Netflix tweeted in hopes of comforting its users.

NBC’s streaming service is ad-supported and will be free for those who’ve haven’t cut the cord just yet. Others will most likely have to pay a monthly subscription fee, although those details have not been released.

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 — but now faces increasing competition within the streaming service market.

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New services set to launch include Disney+ and Apple TV Plus. Along with NBCU, WarnerMedia is also slated to launch their own streaming platforms by next year.