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Turner Licenses Rights to ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

Turner has entered into multi-year licensing agreements for the “Star Wars” movie collection through domestic deals with The Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox that grant TNT and TBS the exclusive linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to “Star Wars.” The agreement with Disney for 10 films includes the network premiere windows to last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and this year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which opens in theaters on December 16.

The Disney agreement also includes five of the six original classic “Star Wars” films, as well as the network television premieres of the next three yet-to-be-released movies. The installment that launched the franchise, “Star Wars: A New Hope,” comes to Turner through a separate arrangement with 20th Century Fox, making 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,” said Deborah K. Bradley, Executive Vice President of Networks Optimization, content strategy and commercialization for Turner. “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 “Star Wars” movies come to Turner beginning Tuesday, September 20, when TNT kicks off six consecutive nights of the original classic films. 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 “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in early 2018, followed in 2019 by this year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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