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The Office might be the most popular show on Netflix, and it may leave

The streaming video landscape is changing faster than you can say “Netflix and chill,” and now the industry-leading service could be losing two of its most popular shows.

After reportedly paying close to $100 million to retain the streaming rights to Friends through 2019, Netflix could be losing one of the only shows more popular than the adventures of Ross, Rachel, and their pals: The Office.

NBC Universal is currently discussing whether to renew the contract with Netflix that keeps all nine seasons of the hit sitcom exclusively on the streaming service, according to CNN and The Wall Street Journal. The current contract expires in 2021, ensuring that fans of The Office have at least another year to watch — and likely rewatch — the wacky experiences of the Dunder Mifflin team.

After that point, however, Netflix could find itself without the show that is reportedly the service’s most popular piece of content. Although Netflix doesn’t release viewing data for any of its content, the report indicates that Friends and The Office are the shows viewers spend the most time watching, with the latter the most-watched program by a wide margin.

Like many video content producers, NBC Universal is launching its own, direct-to-consumer streaming service in the near future, with plans to debut the still-untitled platform in 2020. Previously, the company indicated it would continue to license out its content to other services, but now it appears that NBC Universal could follow Disney’s lead with its own upcoming Disney Plus service and become the exclusive source for its most popular content.

The potential departure of The Office and Friends in the coming years are just a few of the high-profile pieces of licensed content Netflix is losing, with Disney already pulling most of its content from the service. Star Wars and Marvel movies have already been almost entirely removed from Netflix, along with many of the Disney and Pixar animated features, among other popular projects.

The exodus of licensed content has seemingly spurred Netflix to invest even more heavily in producing its own, original content, which has included picking up series that were canceled elsewhere, such as Lucifer, which debuts on the streaming service in May after spending its first three seasons on Fox. That investment has led to a widely publicized subscription price increase for Netflix that takes effect in May.

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