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

WarnerMedia has finally named its long-awaited streaming service as “HBO Max.” The media giant also announced that the new streaming platform will showcase full-season libraries of Netflix’s ‘Friends.’ According to Deadline, the streamer has locked a deal with Warner Bros Television and others to run all 236 episodes of the series.

HBO Max will feature an impressive list of programs from the slates of HBO, Warner Bros, New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. The deals help the new streamer to enrich its offering with titles like ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and Freeform’s ‘Pretty Little Liars.’

The service will launch in Spring 2020. Though WarnerMedia hasn’t revealed any price tags for the service yet, various reports speculate a $16 to $17 monthly cost for the subscribers. Netflix’s price tags go between $9-$16 per month, while Hulu offers similar plans starting from $6 per month. Disney+, which is scheduled to start rolling from November 12, 2019, has slabs starting from $7 per month.

WarnerMedia’s move to pull the popular sitcom from its rival, Netflix was an expected one. According to a Wall Street Journal report, HBO Max pays a hefty $425M for a five year run of ‘Friends’ which will debut in 2020. Netflix reportedly paid nearly $100M per year to stream ‘Friends.’ HBO Max will also be the home for all CW shows including ‘Batwoman’ and ‘Katy Keene.’

“The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye. We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in The US). Thanks for the memories, gang,” Netflix tweeted shortly after WarnerMedia’s HBO Max announcement. Check out the emotional tweet below.

‘Friends’ is the second flagship sitcom to be pulled out from the Netflix slate, following ‘The Office.’ The popular show starring Steve Carell will be available on NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming platform from 2021.

HBO Max will also have a number of originals that include four features films produced by Greg Berlanti and two rom-coms from Reese Witherspoon. Other hotly-anticipated HBO Max titles are ‘Dune,’ a spinoff to be directed by Denis Villeneuve, ‘Tokyo Voice’ starring Ansel Elgort and the animated series ‘Gremlins.’

“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform,” Robert Greenblatt, head of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, is quoted as saying by The Wrap, “HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends.’”

Cover Image Courtesy: Warner Bros TV.