Khaleej Times - City Times

HBO Max nabs from Netflix

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Warnermedi­a will launch its new Netflix rival ‘HBO Max’ in early 2020 after reclaiming the rights to stream its hugely popular television comedy Friends, the company said Tuesday. The new service will enter an increasing­ly crowded TV streaming marketplac­e, vying for customers with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon as well as the soon-to-be-launched Disney+, Comcast’s Nbcunivers­al and Apple’s upcoming product. Friends - which ended back in 2004 - is believed to be one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, capturing a new generation of viewers since it was licensed by Warnermedi­a to the streaming market leader in 2014.

Although Netflix rarely publishes viewership figures, it reportedly paid $100 million to extend streaming rights by just one year for the New Yorkbased sitcom starring Jennifer Aniston in 2018.

“We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US). Thanks for the memories, gang,” Netflix said Tuesday in a Twitter post labelled “The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye.”

As well as all 236 episodes of Friends, the HBO Max platform will group together Warnermedi­a’s vast library of shows and films, along with premium HBO content including Game of Thrones, and new original programmin­g.

HBO Max will debut with some 10,000 hours of “premium content,” according to the Warnermedi­a statement. AP, AFP

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