First it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Futurama and Bob’s Burgers. Now 30 Rock is the newest series to leave Netflix, the streaming service has confirmed.
There were early rumors that 30 Rock would be leaving earlier this month, but Netflix has just confirmed that the show will be removed due to a license expiration.
“30 Rock will be rolling off the service in October,” a statement originally reported by Vulture reads, which Polygon has confirmed. “The license for a TV series or movie is for a set period of time, which means every title eventually comes up for renewal. At that point we take a variety of factors into account to determine if we will renew the title. As we expand our content portfolio, our goal is to continue offering great movies and TV series for our members, while also providing content that is available exclusively on Netflix.”
It’s unclear where 30 Rock will go next. Unlike Fox, which signed a deal with Hulu two months ago and has started migrating its series over, NBCUniversal hasn’t announced a new major streaming partner. 30 Rock may live on in NBC’s own app, but the network hasn’t announced any plans at this time. Polygon has reached out to NBC for comment.
30 Rock may not be the only popular, non-original show to leave Netflix next month, ether. Netflix hasn’t confirmed if How I Met Your Mother will leave next month, but it seems very likely, albeit for much more apparent reasons. When Hulu and Fox announced their partnership in July, the streaming service company confirmed the new deal meant it could “add nearly 3,000 episodes of hit comedies, popular dramas and iconic series,” including How I Met Your Mother. If How I Met Your Mother doesn’t leave in October, it could still be removed from Netflix in November or December.
Although it’s not an exclusive deal by any means, Netflix isn’t a streaming service that wants to offer the same content that can be seen on a competitors network. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos have said multiple times that the goal was to make more of Netflix’s content 50 percent original. That’s why Netflix is spending north of $6 billion this year on original content.
If Hulu is going to become the go-to destination for Fox series — including American Dad, How I Met Your Mother and House — then Netflix will cut its losses and pick up the exclusive rights to other shows. One of Netflix’s biggest exclusive deals was Friends, which also belongs to NBCUniversal.
In light of the 30 Rock news, a petition has started up asking Netflix to renegotiate the licensing terms and keep it on the streaming service.
For now, both 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother are still available to stream. Get your binging in now.
Update: Netflix confirmed on Oct. 23 that all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother would be leaving the streaming service on Nov. 13. The show is already available to stream on Hulu.