The streaming wars are intensifying TV Fanatics!
NBC Universal has confirmed plans to pull all nine seasons of The Office from Netflix in 2021.
The series will subsequently move to NBCU's in-the-works streaming service, and the deal will span five years.
“The Office has become a staple of pop-culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before,” said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, in a statement.
“We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
“The Office is one of our most prized series, and we are thrilled it has found an exciting new home where generation after generation will continue to discover and rediscover Michael Scott’s most cringe-worthy moments, Jim and Pam’s will-they-or-won’t-they, and the incredible quirky ensemble that makes each episode a masterclass in comedy,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television, in a statement.
While the news comes as a blow to fans of the show who watch via Netflix, it makes sense from a business standpoint.
NBC has confirmed the show "was streamed for over 52 billion minutes" last year. That's a huge number, especially for a show that's not produced a new episode since 2013.
As such, it is a huge show that will likely influence people to sign up for NBC's forthcoming streaming service to keep watching.
That is unless fans return to DVDs because the streaming wars are fast becoming confusing.
Netflix is understandably sad to say goodbye to the series.
"We're sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021," the streamer said in a statement.
NBC's ad-supported streaming service will be free for viewers who have cable, but there will be a payable option, as well as an ad-free offering.
The Office is just one of the many big shows earmarked to leave Netflix. There have been several reports over the last few months that WarnerMedia will claw back its titles from Netflix to launch its own streaming service.
One of the biggest shows which is gearing up for an exit from Netflix is Friends.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.