Netflix Doesn't Have 'Friends' Or 'The Office' - And It Doesn't Matter

Hard-fighting streaming platforms -- like business, sports and other disciplines -- know one thing: You need endurance to stay in the ring.

This can come with some good library TV shows. Even better, if it were produced by competitors that wished they had kept their treasures.

Both Warner Media Group and NBCUniversal tried to combat this recently, looking to put a dent in Netflix's future fortunes by taking back the rights of two key shows: Warner Media’s “Friends” and NBCU’s “The Office.”

Did it matter? Has the move slowed Netflix down? Nope.

Taking a look at recent Nielsen streaming numbers, Netflix still dominates.

This includes areas of original programming, acquired programming and even new original movies, according to Nielsen data.

Netflix still has the upper hand, regularly occupying all 10 top spots with “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS” and “Manifest” (old and new episodes), “The Walking Dead” and a host of other titles.



Sure, those respective studios that own the above shows might not renew the Netflix arrangement going forward. Not that it matters. Netflix continued to expand and depend more on original TV and movies.

This isn’t to say, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ will go away quietly. To fight the battle, those legacy-owned premium streaming services are looking for their brand to represent something different.

Initially, that looks like live sports, live local TV station newcasts and live national TV news shows might be the difference. What is Netflix uniqueness going forward? Apparently, it's all things concerning video gaming. (Younger TV consumers versus the older crowd.)

At the same time, Netflix has not left the cupboard bare. It just started up a $500 million deal made some time ago for Sony Pictures’ “Seinfeld” reruns.

Sony Pictures is one major studio without a big premium streaming service. Some years ago, it sold off a majority stake in “Crackle” to the media company, Chicken Soup for The Soul.

A nice addition, and Netflix has spent some time promoting it.

But we doubt “Seinfeld”, with all its quirky, usual comedic style, will be competing long-term on the same level with “Squid Game,” “Stranger Things,” “Bridgerton” and a host of other new original shows that continue to keep subscribers paying.

The fight continues for all programming. Then again, Seinfeld’s George Costanza, when pitching a TV show to NBC executive, might say we are looking in the wrong direction. The sure thing is a program about “nothing.”

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