Fans of The Office who prefer to watch the series through Netflix will only have two more years to follow the antics of Dunder Mifflin through that particular streaming service.
Per CNBC, the popular series is officially leaving Netflix in 2021 and will move at that point to the new NBC/Comcast streaming service. That ad-supported service, which does not yet have a name, will launch in 2020. The deal is for five years, beginning in 2021.
The new service will be free for Comcast subscribers, and $10 per month for others. It will join a crowded streaming market that already includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, CBS All Access, The Criterion Channel and others, and will soon also include Disney+, Apple TV+, and other future entries.
The move represents a coup for the new NBC service, which could entice fans of The Office to sign up once it becomes available.
Per the CNBC report, Netflix offered up to $90 million a year for the rights to The Office, but was outbid by NBC and Comcast, which will pay $100 million a year. The parties also considered an arrangement in which Netflix would have exclusive ad-free streaming rights, with the NBC service getting ad-supported rights. The Office was produced by another Comcast division, Universal Television, and aired its entire original run on NBC.
Per Vox, Netflix agreed last year to pay $100 million for one more year of the streaming rights to Friends. However, WarnerMedia parent company AT&T has expressed interest in grabbing Friends for its new streaming service, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, said in a statement as part of the service’s announcement.
“We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
Netflix tweeted Tuesday that while the company is “sad” to lose the show, Netflix subscribers will be able to “binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021.”
The Office, a remake of Ricky Gervais’ British series of the same name, aired for nine seasons on NBC between 2005 and 2013, and was one of the most influential TV series of its era. Despite a sluggish start, the series grew in popularity in the ensuing seasons and became one of TV’s most beloved shows. Steve Carell, who played boss Michael Scott, left the series in the seventh season.