Turner lands huge Star Wars movies deal with Disney


Turner Networks has just inked a deal with Disney to bring the Star Wars movies to basic cable…

Turner — the Time Warner division that houses basic cable networks TNT and TBS — has just landed what could be the deal of the century, to bring the Star Wars movies to cable television. According to Variety, the deal to bring 11 Star Wars films (four that have yet to be released) to basic cable, has been in the works for a little over a year now. USA Network and FX were also in the running.

Variety notes that despite the fact that Turner and Disney both declined to comment on financial details of the agreement, the deal is estimated at around $250 million, and runs through to 2022. This means that 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the sequels and planned standalone films, will eventually make their way to the Turner networks.

Executive vice president of networks optimization, content strategy and commercialization for Turner,  Deborah K. Bradley, had this to say regarding the deal:

"“The ‘Star Wars’ movies and characters are beloved across generations, captivating audiences and breaking box office records around the globe for nearly four decades. 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.”"

Here’s a list of release dates for Turner and the Star Wars films:

  • The Force Awakens will arrive on the Turner networks early in 2018 (after its run on Starz).
  • Rogue One arrives on the Turner networks in 2019.
  • The six previous Star Wars films — three prequel films as well as the three original films — will air consecutively on TNT, starting September 20.
  • The Turner Networks is also planning a Star Wars movie marathon, beginning on September 24, and ending on September 25.
  • Another Star Wars movie marathon will begin in December and lead up to the worldwide theatrical debut of Rogue One.

Turner has a separate deal in the works with 20th Century Fox, for the original Star Wars: A New Hope, from 1977. You can find out more about the Turner/Disney deal for Star Wars, and what that means for Netflix and Network Television, by reading the Variety article in its entirety.

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We want to hear from you: Are you excited that the Star Wars library is coming to Turner networks, and better yet, basic cable? Or, do you feel that this in some way cheapens the Star Wars films? Let us know in the comments and on social media.