“How do you value a sitcom that hasn’t been on TV for 14 years? Easy: You tell Netflix you’re going to take it away, and see how much they pay,” Peter Kafka reports for Recode. “The answer, as we all know by now, is $100 million. Which is what Netflix is going to pay AT&T* for the right to stream ‘Friends’ next year.”
“Netflix wasn’t the only streamer interested in ‘Friends,’” Kafka reports. “Other bidders for the show included Hulu, the streaming service currently owned by Disney, Fox, NBCU and … WarnerMedia, as well as Apple, which doesn’t have a streaming service yet, but also plans on launching one next year. I’m told that Apple, which is spending a lot of money commissioning its own shows, but has yet to buy a library of existing ones, ended up pulling its bid for ‘Friends.’”
“You’re likely to see a repeat of this plot sometime in the near future, when Comcast’s NBCUniversal has to think about what it wants to do with ‘The Office,’ which it currently streams on Netflix but will most likely want to keep for its own, yet-to-be-announced streaming service that it will likely launch once it sells its stake in Hulu” Kafka reports. “NBCU execs say Netflix has told them ‘The Office’ generates more viewing hours than anything else on the service. Which means Jim and Pam may end up getting more money than Ross and Rachel.”
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