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AT & T takes "Friends" and others disregard Netflix



Photo: Chris McGrath (Getty)

At a technical and media conference on Tuesday, AT & T said CEO Randall Stephenson at The company will provide WarnerMedia content from other streaming services, so the assets will be exclusive to the streaming service that the company is launching soon. That would mean that Netflix would lose popular performances like Friends and Hulu are going to lose audience favorites as ER .

AT & T "will bring many of these media rights, licensing rights back to ourselves to put on our own SVOD product (video-on-demand subscription)," said Stephenson, according to The Dallas Morning News, who Covered Stephenson's comments at the conference.

As Verge points out, only Stephenson strengthens what TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly, who oversees the new WarnerMedia streaming service, said in February. At the Television Critics Association press tour, Reilly told the participants "expect crown jewels of Warner "to land on their new streaming service.

" Does it withdraw (from Netflix)? It's probably something we're willing to do, says Reilly, according to Deadline-adding that he doesn't believe sharing assets is a good model, and his belief is that they should be exclusive.

The move would be a big blow for Netflix. The company paid $ 100 million for exclusive streaming rights for Friends through 2019. The analytics firm Jumpshot showed at the end of last year that Friends was the second or third set of Netflix. And, as the Wall Street Journal highlighted, 72 percent of Netflix's time is spent on non-original content, much of which is owned by WarnerMedia. The move will only add Netflix incoming difficulties with the launch of Disney's new streaming service. A recent study by Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult showed that 28 percent of Netflix users said they would cancel their account if Disney pulled all its titles – including Marvel and Star Wars features – from Netflix.

This news comes on the same day that Disney announced it would take over full control of Hulu from its partner Comcast in a billion dollar deal. This means that Netflix faces the sharp elbows of the most powerful media company in the world on several flow fronts. It also means that Netflix may be able to license Comcast's content. Alas, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal is expected to launch its own streaming service soon, and of course it will want to keep the best content for itself.

When AT&T pressed to get federal approval to buy Time-Warner, the company claimed that the merger was necessary for AT&T to compete with Amazon, Apple and Netflix. But that argument completely ignored that AT & T owns the assets that many of these platforms have come to trust. This imminent power flow of AT&T shows exactly why the Ministry of Justice should have stopped the merger before it was too late.


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