Disney Trying To Reacquire Television Rights To Stars Wars From Turner
With the amalgamation between itself and 21st Century Fox all but official, The Walt Disney Company is now shifting focus onto reclaiming another high profile intellectual property, Star Wars.
After voting to return Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men to their rightful owner earlier this month, Bloomberg is reporting that Disney has contacted Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, regarding the rights to televise Lucasfilm’s multi-billion dollar franchise.
Encompassing A New Hope through to Revenge of the Sith, Turner Broadcasting paid a whopping $275 million to the House of Mouse in 2016 for the six-episode saga, and their deal also includes The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Unlike 21st Century Fox, though, Turner Broadcasting doesn’t appear willing to do business. According to Bloomberg, Disney was met with resistance upon making a “preliminary inquiry” to the AT&T subdivision and talks haven’t advanced beyond the initial probe.
Apparently, the Mouse House is hoping to reclaim the Star Wars series so that it may proffer the franchise as part of the extensive back catalogue offered on their forthcoming streaming service, which will be launched sometime in 2019. At the moment, Turner does have the right to air Star Wars until 2024, and, as reported by sources, would want financial compensation and replacement content should it choose to sell.
Granted, The Walt Disney Company probably shouldn’t have sold in the first place, but the deal was made before the plan to launch their own streaming network was finalized. Now, though, with the BAMTech service in motion, the studio’s already declined to renew their deal with Netflix, which gave the streaming service free rein over new releases, including the Star Wars movies made under the Disney-Lucasfilm banner.
Whether they’ll be able to come to an agreement with Turner remains to be seen, but as always, we’ll keep you posted should any further updates arise.