After many years of Warner Brothers Discovery’s Turner Networks having the linear television rights to the Star Wars films, due to the previous contracts ending, the films will return to Disney’s control, and Disney will start to show all eleven films across its own linear networks, which include ABC, FX and Freeform.
FX will begin a movie marathon on Saturday 7th October 2023, of all three original Star Wars movies, including “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, and “Return Of The Jedi”. FX will also be showing the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” film.
However, according to Deadline, Disney is still chasing some licensing money for its films and has signed a new multi-year deal with the Turner Networks, to allow them to continue showing the Star Wars films, but they will share the rights, allowing Disney to get the benefit of using the films on its networks and also getting additional revenue.
The movies included in the deal include A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), Revenge of the Sith (2005), The Force Awakens (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), The Last Jedi (2017), Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
The original Turner seven-year deal signed in 2016 was reported to be for $250 million, so it’s likely the new deal will be much less due to it being co-exclusive and due to fewer people watching linear television.
Before the launch of Disney+, Disney tried to buy the rights back for linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand from Turner, but wasn’t fully able to, but was able to reach an agreement for Turner to keep the linear rights, while also allowing the Star Wars films to be added to Disney+ in the US.
And if you don’t want to watch the Star Wars films on traditional television, you can watch all eleven Star Wars films, along with the original shows like “The Mandalorian”, right now on Disney+.
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