Warner Bros. TV has announced a landmark deal that will put all 10 seasons of the NBC hit “Friends” on the online-streaming service Netflix, B&C reports.
The 236 episodes — 83 hours of “Friends” programming — will be available on the service beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
“Friends” was a mainstay of NBC’s “Must-See TV” prime-time comedy lineup from 1994-2004.
“Friends” has been an off-net syndication staple of many TV stations for years. One station manager whose station currently shows “Friends” told TVWeek, “Over the years it’s done very well for us. I don’t think anyone on the station side contemplated, when we first bought ‘Friends’ in syndication, that we’d be competing for viewers who could also watch it on a VOD service. But that’s the reality today. I’m sure the next time we sit down with Warner Bros. that will be a consideration and we’d have to figure in that perhaps there might be some erosion.”
He also noted that watching “Friends” in late-night is a habit many viewers have in his market, and he doesn’t think that very many of them will stop watching it on his station and tune in to “Friends” on Netflix instead just to avoid watching commercials.
In connection with the deal, Netflix released a new video featuring the Rembrandts performing the “Friends” theme “I’ll Be There for You” at Central Perk Pop Up in New York City.
Here’s the clip: