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Jun 25, 2019

Netflix favourite 'The Office' departing for NBCUniversal streaming in 2021

Long Disney, short Netflix: John Zechner


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The days of watching “The Office” on Netflix are numbered.

The popular sitcom will leave the streaming giant and start airing on NBCUniversal’s own online platform beginning in 2021. The NBCUniversal service, which is expected to launch next year, will have all nine seasons of “The Office” for five years.

The fate of “The Office” has been closely watched in Hollywood. Though the show was only a modest hit when it aired on NBC from 2005 to 2013, it became a favorite on Netflix. It’s the No. 1 streamed show and accounted for more than 52 billion minutes of viewing last year, according to NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp.

“‘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, chairman of direct-to-consumer operations at NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

Netflix was willing to shell out as much as US$90 million annually to keep “The Office,” but NBC agreed to pay US$100 million, according to CNBC, which previously reported on the deal.

Even now, Netflix isn’t the exclusive home for “The Office.” Reruns of the show also air on Comedy Central under a separate agreement.

Netflix Inc. said on Twitter that it was “sad” that NBCUniversal was taking back the show.

“But members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” the company said.

--With assistance from Anousha Sakoui