UPDATE 3:45 P.M. ET: Looks like Friends isn't leaving Netflix on January 1 after all. After a brief scare this morning in which fans noticed that the show's Netflix page showed an expiration date for January 1, 2019 - prompting a slew of panicked articles and thinkpieces raving about the show - Netflix has denied that Friends will be leaving the service.
Now, the expiration date has been removed and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos is speaking out about the reports.
With everyone launching their own streaming platforms, Netflix will be losing more and more movies and shows, and become a less desirable streaming destination. unless they can produce more quality original programming. That means fans have only a few more weeks - until New Year's Eve at 11:59pm, to be precise - to binge-watch all 236 episodes of Friends before it's yanked from Netflix's catalogue of shows.
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As many know, the show follows three men and women who start off as best friends (while some end up dating) as they all deal with the trials and tribulations of finding a job, maintaining a relationship and more in New York City. Netflix didn't use to be in such fierce competition with companies like Warner Bros. and Disney, but it is now. TV, while partners with Netflix, likely sees an opportunity to make this series the biggest show on their streaming service in the future. THR notes that the brief scare comes as WarnerMedia prepares to launch its own streaming service in the latter half of 2019, which could possibly pull Friends back from Netflix.
It's one more example of the battle over content as more services enter the streaming war.