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Friends most-streamed show in UK 15 years after finale

The show's popularity was highlighted in an Ofcom report into television and broadcast figures.

The popularity of Friends has endured since 2004.
The popularity of Friends has endured since 2004. Netflix/Friends

US sitcom Friends has been the UK's most-watched streaming show in 2018 - despite the series having ended almost 15 years ago.

The show's enduring popularity was highlighted in an Ofcom report into television and broadcast figures.

Friends was added to Netflix UK in January, and between then and March more than twice the amount of Friends episodes were streamed than The Grand Tour, which was ranked second.

Ofcom's report emphasised how on-demand streaming services have changed the face of the TV industry.

The rapid take-up of streaming services mean there are now more subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV than there are to "traditional" pay-TV services.

Most streamed shows in UK between January and March (1 to 10):

  • Friends (Neflix)
  • The Grand Tour (Amazon)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • Peaky Blinders (Netflix)
  • Black Mirror (Netflix)
  • The Big Bang Theory (Netflix)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Netflix)
  • The Good Place (Netflix)
  • Vikings (Amazon)
James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson on The Grand Tour set.
James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson on The Grand Tour set. PA

Ofcom's report concluded that the change in viewing habits was being driven by 16 to 34-year-olds.

In 2017, people of that age group watched an average of 2 hours 37 minutes of non-broadcast content a day, across all devices (including 59 minutes of YouTube on PCs, phones and tablets) and 2 hours 11 minutes of broadcast content.

Between January and March, the number of subscribers to Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV was 15.4 million.

This year alone, Netflix has spent some £5.3 billion on its own original programmes.

But despite the last episode of Friends having been released in 2004, the sitcom currently tops the list of most-streamed shows.

The hit show ran for 236 episodes from 1994.

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