The streaming war between giants such as Hulu and Netflix and smaller, niche streaming services such as CBS All Access has claimed its greatest casualty yet.
“The Office” will be leaving Netflix in January 2021. After more than a year of speculation about the fate of the beloved television show, NBCUniversal successfully outbid Netflix with a gargantuan $500 million bid to have the show on their new streaming service for at least five years. This trumped Netflix’s current $100 million deal, giving NBCUniversal a key piece to help start their streaming service.
“'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, the chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, said in a news release. “We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
Netflix announced the decision last night with a passive-aggressive tweet.
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— Netflix US (@netflix) June 25, 2019
In the news release, NBCUniversal also released Nielson data stating that the show had been streaming for over 52 billion minutes in 2018. The data also showed that in April 2019, the show had twice the viewership of the next most popular show. According to Jumpshot, the show was also Netflix’s most-watched show of 2018.
"The Office" stars Steve Carrell, John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson and follows the mundane and often outrageous events that occur in a seemingly-quiet and dull paper sales office.
“I watch 'The Office' all the time,” said Shamus Card, a senior in criminal justice studies. “I always have it on in the background when I’m doing homework and stuff. It sucks that I probably won’t be able to watch it ad-free anymore.”