Is The Office leaving Netflix in the near future? Recent reports have suggested that the popular NBC sitcom may soon disappear from the streaming service. Here's what's really going on for viewers who are worried about the fate of The Office on Netflix.
The Office debuted on NBC in 2005 and became an instant success, running for nine seasons. The fandom had a reawakening of sorts when the series was added in full on Netflix in 2013. The sitcom about an eccentric group of office workers in Scranton, Pennsylvania currently stands as the most-watched series on the streaming service. Unfortunately, Netflix subscribers might soon be losing their go-to series.
NBCUniversal will soon be following the footsteps of other distributors by launching their own streaming service. The yet-to-be-named service is expected to be unveiled to the public in the middle of next year. According to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke in January (via Deadline), the streaming service plans to "reclaim" their beloved titles, including The Office. So what does that mean in regards to Netflix's current contract to stream The Office?
After rumors began to swirl that Netflix would lose The Office earlier this year, the streaming service took to social media to assure viewers that they have retaining rights until 2021. About a month later during NBC's Upfront event, it was hinted that major NBC titles, including The Office, will be "coming home." With everything previously stated, it seems likely that NBCUniversal plans to take back the series' rights once the licensing contracts expire elsewhere.
Netflix probably won't go down without a fight considering how many numbers it draws in. A recent study has found that a substantial amount of viewers would cancel their subscription if Netflix loses The Office. The streaming service may go to great lengths as they did with the $100 million dollar contract they signed with AT&T’s Warner Bros. division to renew the rights to Friends for another year.
It's unclear if NBCUniversal would allow Netflix to renew the contract at a high price while simultaneously retain rights for their own use. Their upcoming streaming service will be free to users but there will be advertisements. The online-based service is intriguing to advertisers but it could be offputting to viewers who are willing to pay for ad-free content. This could give Netflix the upper hand in negotiating a new contract. There's no official word on The Office's streaming service future but, regardless of any future deals, Netflix viewers have until 2021 to continue their binge-watching.