Okay, Netflix subscribers, you have 555 days to enjoy “The Office.” That’s right, just about a year and a half before the beloved TV series that is easily the most popular thing on the streaming service leaves Netflix and makes its way to another platform.
According to Deadline, NBCUniversal is prepping the launch of its own streaming service and has decided to end its agreement with Netflix, allowing for “The Office” to be available to stream only on the as-yet-untitled NBCUniversal service.
There’s good news and bad news, however. The good news is that “The Office” will be part of the streaming service that will be offered for free to pay-TV subscribers through Comcast and Sky. However, there will be advertisements and commercials. The bad news is that if you don’t have a pay-TV membership to one of NBCUniversal’s partners, then you’re going to have to pay for a separate streaming solution if you want to enjoy the antics of Michael Scott, Jim, Pam, and Dwight. Unfortunately, the price and launch date of the service is still unknown.
Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, said, “‘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. We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
Much like “Friends,” “The Office” is seen as one of the foundations of Netflix’s streaming platform, and also one of the biggest deficiencies. You see, Netflix has been trying to launch enough original programming and must-see TV that would offset the loss of “The Office.” However, even with the popularity of programs like “Stranger Things” and the other original series and films, “The Office” is consistently one of the biggest, if not the biggest, programs streamed on Netflix, even a decade after it aired. And unfortunately, it’s not owned by Netflix, leading to this predicament.
It’ll be interesting to see how Netflix recovers from this loss, and if the subscription numbers will be affected at all. But in the meantime, if you’re a diehard fan of “The Office,” you better enjoy it while you can.