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AT&T Nears Deal for ‘Friends’ Reunion Special

The show would give its new streaming service, HBO Max, something big to open with for its spring launch.
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AT&T’s  (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report Warner Media is close to a deal with the cast members of the hit TV show ‘Friends’ to film a reunion special, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Each of the shows's six main stars would be paid between $2.25 million and $2.5 million to appear in the special and the show would likely be used to launch HBO Max, the company’s new streaming service debuting in May, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The show wouldn’t be a new episode of the show but a retrospective with interviews with the cast and creators. The high cost of the special shows how competitive the streaming video space has become and how important it is to offer exclusive and compelling content.

HBO Max will already be launching with access to all 10 seasons of the hit show, which had previously been held by Netflix through the end of 2019. AT&T's WarnerMedia outbid Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. Report for the streaming rights, however, and will be paying $425 million for five years of access.

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HBO Max will be free for current HBO subscribers but will cost $14.99 per month for new subscribers.

In addition to competition from Netflix and Amazon  (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report Prime, Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report and Apple’s  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report streaming services debuted in November and Comcast’s  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report Peacock is set to launch in July. 

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