Yesterday, NBC Universal made news when they reacquired The Office from Netflix. When the current Netflix deal ends in early 2021, the employees of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton will vacate the streaming service’s library and return to the studio where it was first aired. Now, we know exactly how much they are paying to bring Michael, Jim, and Pam home.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC’s potential streaming service NBCU, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and possibly Apple took meetings to acquire the series. The producers at Universal Television then held an auction in which NBCU outbid Netflix by $100 million more per year for five years, deeming NBCU the winner with a $500 million deal. The article summed up that moves like this will become the norm as studios decide to create their own services:
“…Major media organizations, as they work to assemble libraries that will woo potential subscribers, will need to weigh whether they want to hold back valuable library offerings or sell them to a third party. WarnerMedia, Disney and NBCU all own studios with vast libraries that will prove immensely valuable when they launch their direct-to-consumer offerings over the next year. Meanwhile, Apple will likely need to build a library from scratch if it wants to charge a fee for access to its slate of high-end original programming.”
Related – Yep, The Office Will Leave Netflix In 2021
Earlier this year, Netflix faced a showdown with another popular series when its deal to air Friends had ended, causing an uproar among the streaming service’s Friends fans. WarnerMedia and Netflix came to an agreement to keep the series on the service for all of 2019 in a one-year licensing deal said to be worth $80 to $100 million. After that year is up, WarnerMedia will have the option to either pull the series from Netflix and keep it solely on its future streaming service or share it. Netflix’s chief content officer Kevin Reilly has expressed that he is not a fan of that idea, stating “it’s not a good model to share.” So, be prepared to lose Friends for good from your Netflix library at the end of this year, as well.
Welcome to the future of broadcasting. What was once ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox will now be Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple, WarnerMedia, Disney+, NBCU, and any other studio that has content and wants to create a service. That, of course, will result in paying multiple monthly fees if a customer wants to view specific programs. Suddenly, I am reminded of Joe Pesci’s Leo Getz from the Lethal Weapon franchise, who informed all of us how corporations… “screw” you.
(Side note: the Lethal Weapon film franchise belongs to Warner Bros., so you would need the WarnerMedia streaming service in order to view those films on demand whenever you’d like.)
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter.