Disney’s checkbook has been extremely busy as of late, and now they are hoping to keep it busy. In a case of seller’s remorse, the Walt Disney Company apparently wants the cable/TV rights to the Star Wars films back.
In 2016 the company signed a deal that sold certain TV rights for the franchise to the Turner Broadcasting and now, as reported by Bloomberg citing anonymous sources, they are seeking to try and buy those rights back so that they can place the films on their upcoming streaming platform.
Problem is the deal was for eight years, meaning it stretches all the way to 2024, and apparently they are meeting resistance as Turner, now owned by AT&T, wants financial considerations and programming that would replace these films that they tend to play quite often on their networks.
Back in 2016, it made sense for Disney to sell these rights to get the films out there in order to continue to make some money off the films. Then they decided to not renew their contract with Netflix (which ends in 2019 and lets the streaming platform have first airing rights to new Disney films) and began preparations to build their own platform like many studios/outlets are now doing so that they better have control of their own content and destiny.
After spending $4 billion to purchase in 2012, it would be a huge blow to Disney’s platform if they could not air the Star Wars films on their platform at a time when the franchise is still in a height of popularity and Disney has a Jon Favreau Star Wars show on the way to help anchor the platforms original content. They will still have all the Marvel, Pixar and Disney labeled content to pull in from decades to fill in the platform but a Star Wars shaped hole will not help things.