The One Where ‘Friends’ Disappears From Streaming (for Now)

The new decade brings a new streaming home for Friends as the show moves from Netflix to HBO Max.  One minor detail is that HBO Max does not launch until May!

Key details for Friends:
1) 10 
seasons (1994-2004)
2) 236 episodes
3) 29M viewers at peak (Season 2)

Average viewers by season (YoY growth):
1) 
1994–95 – 24M
2) 
1995–96 – 29M (↑ 21%)
3) 1996–97 – 25M (↓ 15%)
4) 1997–98 – 24M (↓ 4%)
5) 1998–99 – 24M (↓ 2%)
6) 1999–00 – 21M (↓ 12%)
7) 2000–01 – 20M (↓ 2%)
8) 2001–02 – 25M (↑ 21%)
9) 2002–03 – 22M (↓ 11%)
10) 2003–04 – 23M (↑ 5%)

Flashback: ‘Friends’ to Move to HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s New Streaming Service

Comparison of annual deal size between Netflix and Warner:
1) Netflix deal #1 (2014–18) –  $30M
2) Netflix deal #2 (2019) – $80M
3) HBO Max deal #1 (2020-24) – $85M

Quick math #1 for Friends and HBO Max:
1) Domestic subscriber target – 75M
2) The annual cost to license Friends – $85M
3) HBO Max would be paying $0.09 per month for each domestic subscriber to license the show.

Quick math #2 for Friends and HBO Max:
1) The annual cost to license Friends – $85M
2) # of seasons – 10
3) # of episodes – 236
4) $/season to license – $8.5M
5) $/episode to license – $360K

That is brand new information!  A reunion may be in the works, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Video: Matt LeBlanc Looks Back at ‘Friends’ and Playing Joey For 12 Years

More #1: ‘Friends’ Turns 25: Ranking Its 25 Best Episodes

More #2: ‘Friends’ Creators Reveal Surprises, Regrets, Reactions to HBO Max Move Link (09/14/2019)

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