Net­flix spends big to keep ‘Friends’

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Net­flix will still be there for fans of the old TV se­ries “Friends,” but main­tain­ing the re­la­tion­ship will come at a steep price.

The video stream­ing ser­vice paid $100 mil­lion to keep show­ing “Friends” in the U.S. through 2019, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the New York Times.

That’s more than triple the $30 mil­lion a year Net­flix had been pay­ing for the long-run­ning TV se­ries about six 20-some­thing friends in New York. The re­port cited two uniden­ti­fied peo­ple with di­rect knowl­edge of Net­flix’s deal with the se­ries’ rights holder, AT&T.

Net­flix’s will­ing­ness to pay so much for a se­ries that ended in 2004 is the lat­est sign of in­ten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion in video stream­ing.

Be­sides cur­rent ri­vals such as Hulu and Ama­zon, Net­flix is also fac­ing a sig­nif­i­cant threat next year when Walt Dis­ney Co. plans to roll out a video stream­ing ser­vice fea­tur­ing its pop­u­lar movies and TV shows.

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