NBC Universal outbids Netflix and pays $500m for the rights to stream The Office
- NBC Universal will pay $100million a year for five years to stream the show
- It beat Netflix in negotiations and will begin hosting the show in 2021
- Universal Television, which is owned by NBC Universal, produced the show from 2005-2013
- The show was one of Netflix’s most popular, drawing in millions of viewers
NBC Universal has outbid Netflix to pay $500million for the rights to host The Office on its new streaming service when it launches in 2021.
The network announced on Tuesday that it will pay $100million per year to host all nine series of the show exclusively on its site when it launches. It will stay on Netflix until its current contract runs out in January 2021.
The show was originally produced by Universal Television, which NBC Universal owns.
In an announcement on Tuesday, Pearlena Igbokwe, President of Universal Television said it was one of the network’s ‘most prized’ series.
NBC Universal has acquired the rights to stream The Office when it launches its first streaming service in January 2021 (the show is pictured)
’The Office is one of our most prized series, and we are thrilled it has found an exciting new home where generation after generation will continue to discover and rediscover Michael Scott’s most cringe-worthy moments, Jim and Pam’s will-they-or-won’t-they, and the incredible quirky ensemble that makes each episode a masterclass in comedy,’ she said.
Netflix commiserated over the loss on Twitter.
‘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 service said in a tweet.
The show stopped filming in 2013 after eight years of production. By going to Netflix, it has won a new generation of viewers and has enjoyed a boost in popularity.
Netflix commiserated over the news on Twitter. The Office is one of its most watched shows
Last year, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt said the network regretted giving it to the streaming giant so cheaply.
‘I believe it’s the No. 1 most-popular acquired show on Netflix… there are millions of streams of those episodes.
‘I believe that Netflix has helped make extraordinarily popular, and more popular than it was when it was on the network.
‘And they pay us a lot of money for it.
‘If we knew how popular it was going to be before they made the deal, we would have asked for more money from them!’
It is an American adaptation of the British comedy series by the same name which began in 2001 and starred Ricky Gervais.
NBC is yet to share details of how its streaming service will operate and, crucially, how much it will cost in comparison to rivals.