- Kevin Reilly, the head of content for AT&T’s upcoming streaming service, signaled on Monday that "Friends" may not be on Netflix much longer.
- "Sharing destination assets like that, it’s not a good model to share," Reilly said during a Television Critics Association press tour.
- AT&T and Netflix struck a deal last year to keep "Friends" on Netflix through 2019, while allowing AT&T to also include the show on its own platform.
After AT&T bought Time Warner last year, forming the new WarnerMedia, it was quick to jump into the streaming war. AT&T announced in October that it would launch a streaming service this year, and the future of "Friends" on Netflix has been in doubt because of it.
WarnerMedia’s new head of content for the upcoming streaming service, Kevin Reilly, signaled that the hit 1990s Warner Bros. sitcom, which has found a new audience thanks to Netflix, could eventually leave the streaming giant.
"Sharing destination assets like that, it’s not a good model to share," Reilly told said during a Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. "They should be exclusive to the service."
Netflix and AT&T struck a deal last year to keep "Friends" on Netflix through 2019, while giving AT&T the freedom to also include it in its own streaming platform, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed at December’s UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
Netflix is dropping up to $100 million for the rights to "Friends," according to The New York Times, up from the $30 million is was previously paying per year.
But Reilly’s comment hints that AT&T could want "Friends" all for itself, and potentially end a deal with Netflix after 2019.
"Friends" isn’t the only major piece of content that AT&T is eyeing for its service.
Reilly said that it would "build on the foundational ethos" of HBO, and also include content from Cartoon Network, the CW, Adult Swim, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros. He added that a beta version this year will include no original content, which will come in 2020.
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Source: Business Insider