Time Warner subdivision, Turner Broadcasting System has set a weight TV deal to bring the Star Wars franchise to the small screen. Having struck a whopping agreement with rights owner Disney, the broadcaster now owns the cable rights to ten of the series’ films, while a separate deal with 20th Century Fox gives the media division access to the original, A New Hope.
According to Variety, the deal is estimated to be worth “at least $250 million,” with The Force Awakens itself reported to represent “35-40 million” of that. The contract is expected to run until 2022, allowing TBS and TNT to show ten of the series’ films, as well as the four new movies still to release.
This isn’t Time Warner’s first venture into hefty television contracts, however, with Warner Bros. having recently acquired the rights to the eight Harry Potter films (as well as the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) from NBCUniversal, for a reportedly similar asking price to the beloved sci-fi saga.
The Force Awakens – currently the latest film in the Star Wars saga – will be available on Turner in 2018, after the company complete its paid license on cable network Starz, with Rogue One appearing in 2019. The earlier six Star Wars entries, however, will arrive on TNT this September 20. As reported by Variety, the company are already scheduling Star Wars marathons for September 24-25, and again later this year during the run-up to the release of Rogue One. Popcorn at the ready, US viewers.
The follow-up to The Force Awakens will arrive in 2017 with Episode VIII, with Episode IX scheduled to release in 2019. The new Star Wars anthology series will also see its first two entries, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting cinemas this December 16 and a young Han Solo adventure to begin in 2018, starring Alden Ehrenreich.
You can head over to Variety here for more information on the Turner-Disney deal.