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'Friends' not leaving Netflix, despite social media firestorm

'Friends' is staying on Netflix for another year, and all it took was $100 million

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by Circa via MATTHEW SEEMAN, KSNV Staff

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - Netflix says relax.

The video-on-demand streamer says the sitcom "Friends" is not leaving its platform at the start of the new year, according to The Hollywood Reporter, despite social media reports suggesting otherwise.

Fans quickly shared on Twitter screenshots showing an expiration of 1/1/19, which would mean all episodes of "Friends" would be pulled from Netflix after that date.

The purported expiration date was gone by Monday afternoon, however.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, told THR that the show's "departure is a rumor."

An executive also told USA Today that there were no immediate plans to drop the show. Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint echoed those reports as well.

Netflix itself soon confirmed the good news, saying via Twitter that "Friends" would still be around for 2019.

Netflix will pay $100 million for the right to the air the show, The New York Times reports. Previously, the streamer was paying WarnerMedia, the show's owner, $30 million per year. Netflix and WarnerMedia's parent company AT&T were in the process of negotiations for the rights to the show for months, the report says.

As part of AT&T's deal with Netflix, the show will appear exclusively on the streaming service for the rest of 2019. Afterwards, the deal will be nonexclusive meaning the planned streaming service AT&T will eventually launch to compete with Netflix will also have the right to stream the show. This is expected to take place in 2020. Netflix also has the option to end their deal after 2019.

Netflix's deal with WarnerMedia solely includes episodes of the show that dominated NBC's airwaves in the '90s. It does not include any extra scenes, bloopers, or never before seen footage. There are also no Q&A's or reunions with castmembers included which differentiates this from the contract Facebook recently signed with 20th Century Fox for the rights to another '90s hit "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."