To this day, Netflix is the sole platform in which Friends can be streamed (although it remains widely syndicated on real TV). After a brief scare this morning in which fans noticed that the show's Netflix page showed an expiration date for January 1, 2019 - prompting a slew of panicked articles and thinkpieces raving about the show - Netflix has denied that Friends will be leaving the service. And Netflix's chief content officer himself has gone on the record about the matter, with Ted Sarandos telling The Hollywood Reporter that Friends' "departure is a rumor".
Netlfix appears to be removing beloved sitcom Friends from its streaming library come January.
As THR notes, Friends made its streaming debut back in 2015 with its arrival on Netflix, to much fanfare. Netflix doesn't release viewer data, so there's no way to know for sure how many people are watching Friends on the streaming service, but anecdotally it's one of its most popular shows, one that people watch over and over again.
The holiday armadillo has granted your Christmas wish early: Friends is staying on Netflix!
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This is bad news for Friends fans and Netflix as a whole.
It's one more example of the battle over content as more services enter the streaming war. If Friends indeed leaves Netlfix, it's likely to end up on another streaming service, though, as AT&T - the parent company of Warner Bros., which was the studio behind Friends - is launching a streaming service of its own. The streaming service declined to provide an official comment on the matter though.
However, it may not be all smooth sailing for the Friends Netflix rights in the future.