‘The Office’ Shift From Netflix To NBCUniversal Tests Streaming Viewers’ Ad Tolerance

NBCUniversal got the attention of Hollywood and TV viewers everywhere last week, announcing a five-year deal to take The Office back from Netflix and put it on its own streaming service starting in 2021.

The value of the pact is estimated at $100 million per year, according to those familiar with the terms. So, what exactly is NBCU buying with all of that cash? Not subscribers, technically, given that the company plans to give the streaming service away initially to pay-tv subscribers of Comcast and Sky. The main answer appears to be the opportunity to reinforce its decades-old, still-lucrative advertising business.

The Office, according to Nielsen research, ranked as the most watched show on Netflix in 2018, with 52 million minutes streamed — more than 20 million more than Friends.

The question is, how many of those 52 million minutes will transfer to the show’s new home? The team responsible for Sky’s well-regarded streaming apps
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