TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly, who is involved in the oversee of the new WarnerMedia streaming service, said Monday that in regards to Friends down the road, the series is bound to play exclusively on the new platform.
“I think for the most part, sharing destination assets like that is not a good model to share — my belief is that they should be exclusive,” he added.
Back in December, Netflix celebrated its $100 million deal for streaming Friends through 2019, a significantly bigger deal than the $30 million it was paying per year for rights. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at UBS media conference let attendees know at the time that the newly extended license to the Warner Bros show is not exclusive.
“That means Friends can go onto our platform as well,” Stephenson said last December.
Reilly mentioned today that a beta version of the WarnerMedia platform will launch in Q4 of this year. The streaming service has yet to be named but will encompass the Warner Bros. studio movies/TV, HBO and Turner series. The price tier is still being figured out, particularly how it’s offered to AT&T cable and DirecTV customers. It will be offered as a stand-alone service, but be a “seamless consumer experience” said Reilly.
Like Friends, the CW quotient of Netflix is interesting one. Earlier during TCA, CW President Mark Pedowitz praised the streaming service for its ability to foster fans for its shows and spike viewership in subsequent seasons for shows such as Supernatural and Riverdale. While new seasons of CW originals are on the air, The CW has the exclusive rights to stream these series on its platforms. But eight days after a new season concludes, the whole season goes to Netflix.
Reilly today specified that “The CW with Netflix is not an output deal” and that “there’s a new offering of content coming up in the spring. I think you can anticipate we’re to be looking at that; we’re very interested in putting that (the CW series) on our platform.”
Reilly looks forward to the networks and streaming services working together to build and market shows that they share.
“The next five years in the space will clearly not look like the last five,” said Reilly about streaming moving forward.