Harry Potter And The NBC TV Rights Deal
The success of the "Harry Potter" franchise made it a matter of when, not if, a major cable company would shell out the big bucks to obtain the commercial television rights to the franchise's movies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX)'s Warner Bros. studio struck a deal with NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) for the commercial television rights to all eight of the "Harry Potter" movies.
The agreement between the two also includes the "Fantastic Beats" franchise, which was also written by J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter franchise. In addition, NBCUniversal obtained the rights to use source material from both franchises at its Universal theme parks and at its "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" attraction.
The Wall Street Journal noted that while the financial aspects of the deal weren't immediately disclosed, "people familiar with the agreement" said the deal could be valued as much as $250 million.
A spokeswoman at NBCUniversal told the Wall Street Journal that the deal represents the largest acquisition in its company history but did not clarify any dollar amount attached to the deal.
The deal will only take effect in 2018 as Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) holds the rights to the "Harry Potter' franchise until June 2018. As of July 1, 2018, NBCUniversal holds the right to air the films on all of its networks, including its core-NBC broadcast network.
"When you have an iconic franchise like this, it has a lot of value," the Wall Street Journal quoted Chris McCumber, president of NBCUniversal Cable's entertainment networks unit as saying. "You end up getting a younger audience who comes in to discover them."
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