Friends officially leaving Netflix for WarnerMedia's new streaming service

Image via NBC

Netflix said in a prepared statement Tuesday that it's sorry to see "Friends" go in the U.S. Viewing rights for other countries are not affected.

While its name suggests that the service will be anchored by HBO content, WarnerMedia hopes that Friends and other company titles will attract viewers.

Reports of Friends' departure from Netflix began in earnest last December, when its "available until" date on the streaming platform said the sitcom would only be available until Jan.1, 2019. Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films. The site will feature a mixture of original content and classic material from Warner Bros., HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network, DC Comics and more.

Watch the promo video for HBO Max above.

Let's start with a positive from Tuesday's news regarding AT&T's WarnerMedia picking a name for its new streaming service that will be the exclusive home starting early next year for NBC's hit sitcom Friends, which now streams on Netflix. Friends first began streaming on Netflix in 2015.

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The service is just one of many new streaming products set to launch in the coming months, and consumers probably won't be able to subscribe to all of them.

It's going to be a crowded field, and with all of the major content owners pulling their most popular shows and movies back to put on their own services over the next few years, the notion of saving money by cutting the cord might not be viable much longer. Without resorting to a Google search, how many of you can explain the difference between HBO Max, HBO Go and HBO Now? But a temporary reprieve is all it was, unfortunately, because on Tuesday it was announced that beginning in 2020, Friends will move to WarnerMedia's upcoming rival streaming service, HBO Max.

HBO Max, scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020, is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content. The streaming service will also include brand-new shows, called "Max Originals", and movies.

The streaming market will be getting crowded in 2020. HBO Max will be a distinct offering.

AT&T survived an antitrust challenge and previous year finalized a deal to acquire Time Warner, which included the Warner Bros studios, Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and other assets for some $85 billion.

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