The One Where 'Friends' Leaves Netflix

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Netflix " Friends" is leaving Netflix on January 1.

The hit 1990s sitcom, which is still one of the most popular comedies in the U.S. thanks to its availability on Netflix, is leaving the streaming giant on January 1, according to its page on Netflix's website.

"Friends" will always be there for you, just not on Netflix as of January.

Now, the expiration date has been removed and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos is speaking out about the reports.

Don't expect Friends to be gone from a streaming service for long.

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The idea that Friends would leave Netflix for WarnerMedia's new streaming service, meanwhile, is of course not a radical idea either.

"Friends" was one of Netflix's biggest acquisitions in 2014, when the streamer first announced that all 10 seasons would become available. The streaming service declined to provide an official comment on the matter though.

This is bad news for Friends fans and Netflix as a whole.

It comes as Netflix also looks set to lose Disney/Marvel and Warner Bros./DC titles amid the increasingly competitive on-demand market. WarnerMedia, the company that owns Friends, is developing its own streaming service and wants Friends for itself because it's an incredibly valuable property; by one estimate, it's still the third-most popular comedy in America, nearly fifteen years after it went off the air. While we don't have a full idea yet what its inventory of titles will consist of, WarnerMedia chief John Stankey has said the service will arrive in the fourth quarter next year and offer consumers three tiers.

It's one more example of the battle over content as more services enter the streaming war.