Netflix in the US has paid a fortune to keep Friends on its platform for one more year.
Friends is available to stream on Stan in Australia but fans in America can only get their fix on Netflix.
So you can imagine their horror when they noticed recently that the sitcom was set to expire on January 1, 2019.
— Noelle Michaud (@noellemichaud14) 2 December 2018
Can't sleep so was trying to enjoy some Friends.. then Netflix gives me the notification that friends is LEAVING NETFLIX ON JANUARY 1st.
My day is ruined at only 7:30 am.. and also my 2019.
— bri (@brimillllla) 2 December 2018
Ok so friends is leaving Netflix next month and I just started season 7. It's gonna be a busy December
— Kaluhhb (@hollyjollykaleb) 2 December 2018
friends is leaving netflix on january 1st... if that's a preview to how next year is gonna go i don't want it
— Paige McFarland (@paigemcfarland_) 2 December 2018
After freaking out for a few days, Friends fans were overjoyed when Netflix US announced on Twitter that the iconic show will still be available to stream in 2019.
The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: "Friends" will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019 pic.twitter.com/Yd0VqRzk3r
— Netflix US (@netflix) 3 December 2018
Details have now emerged of how much it cost Netflix US to keep Friends for one more year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service paid somewhere between $95 million and $109 million USD.
That's a huge increase on the $40 million Netflix US has reportedly paid each year since 2015 to stream the show on its platform.
It's unclear what will happen to Friends in 2020 which is when WarnerMedia, which owns the rights to the sitcom, will launch a new streaming service of its own.
AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson hinted yesterday that Friends could be available for streaming on both Netflix US and the yet to be named WarnerMedia streaming service.
"Well, (Netflix) re-signed it on a non-exclusive basis," Mr Stephenson said. "What does that mean? That means Friends could go on to our platform as well."