In 2019, when forces like WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, and Viacom were just gearing up to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon in the “streaming wars,” one of the greatest causes for consternation was The Office. Specifically, the fact that the NBC sitcom was leaving Netflix for the network’s own upcoming streaming service, Peacock. Despite the fact that The Office had been off the air for several years, it was the perennial favorite on Netflix for anyone who wanted something comfortable to watch again (and again and again and again).
For media prognosticators and company executives alike, there was really one big question about the future: What could replace The Office?
The Office for Peacock. which launched in July 2020, was supposed to be The Office itself. And it worked, somewhat: The service has added nine million subscribers since Q4 2020. It’s an impressive number and the largest gain the company has seen post-launch. But a service can only add every episode of The Office to its streaming service once. Acquiring the rights to one beloved series — or two or three or four — doesn’t turn a streamer into a Netflix-sized juggernaut.
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