Star-wars-force-awakens

Turner Gets ‘Star Wars’ Movie Rights in Major Deal with Disney

by Cate Lecuyer  |  09.14.2016

In a major deal with Walt Disney Studios, Turner secured licensing rights to 10 movies in the Star Wars franchise. Combined with a separate agreement with 20th Century Fox for the original 1977 blockbuster, this makes Turner the only company with basic cable rights to all 11 titles in the collection.

“The Star Wars movies and characters are beloved across generations, captivating audiences and breaking box office records around the globe for nearly four decades,” Deborah K. Bradley, executive vice president of networks optimization, content strategy and commercialization for Turner, said in a statement. “Through this deal, TNT and TBS will be the exclusive basic cable home of one of the most iconic, enduring and valuable movie franchises of all time, giving viewers the chance to watch this amazing collection from the very beginning.”

The sale to Turner includes last year’s record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens—which pulled in about $2 billion at the worldwide box office—this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters on December 16, five of the six original classic Star Wars films, and the network television premieres of the next three yet-to-be-released movies.

The mulit-year agreement that runs through at least 2022, based on the scheduled releases of upcoming movies, was a year in the making after Disney announced it planned to shop around the Star Wars package. While most basic cable networks made bids, including NBCUniversal’s USA Network and Fox’s FX Network, estimates put the eventual sale to Turner at around $250 million.

The agreement also follows Disney’s previous groundbreaking pay TV output deal that allows Netflix to stream its theatrical releases for 2016-2018.

Turner plans to kick off the run on Tuesday, September 20 with six consecutive nights of the original classic films on TNT. The movies will also air in December, in conjunction with Disney’s theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

TNT is set to premiere last year’s blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens in early 2018, followed in 2019 by this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

RELATED: Starz to Debut ‘Star Wars’ in Primetime

READ MORE: Variety, Deadline

WHEN TO WATCH:

Tuesday, Sept. 20

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

11 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Wednesday, Sept. 21

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

11:05 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Thursday, Sept. 22

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

11:05 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Friday, Sept. 23

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: A New Hope

10:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: A New Hope

Saturday, Sept. 24

10:45 a.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

1:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

4:55 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

10:45 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Sunday, Sept. 25

5:15 a.m. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

8:15 a.m. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

11:20 a.m. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

2:25 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: A New Hope

5:10 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

8 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

11 p.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

2 a.m. (ET/PT) – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

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