NBCU to Move ‘The Office’ Off Netflix and to Its Own OTT Platform in 2021

Aughts-era comedy is one of the SVOD service's most-watched shows
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NBCUniversal said it will stream reruns of the classic comedy The Office exclusively on its soon-to-launch streaming platform starting in 2021, removing the show from Netflix.

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,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises, in a statement. “We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”

Steve Carell in "The Office"

Steve Carell in "The Office"

NBCU’s multi-year, $100 million deal with Netflix to license the show expires at the end of 2020. NBCU plans to launch a new OTT platform next year, as well.

The Office accounted for 52 million viewing minutes on Netflix in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Netflix responded with this 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.”

The decision comes as NBCU, Disney and WarnerMedia pull back popular shows from Netflix, which has grown its market capitalization to more than $157 billion over the last decade largely on the backs of hit Hollywood content.

Disney said that it will take a $150 million first-year hit by holding back content from the major SVOD services as it launches Disney+.

In December, AT&T’s WarnerMedia agreed to take $100 million to keep another former NBC primetime comedy staple, Friends, on Netflix through 2019. But it’s widely expected that Friends will depart the SVOD giant soon, as well.