Disney is Seeking Rights of ‘Star Wars’ Back from TBS and TNT for Streaming Service

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Earlier this year, Disney launched its ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service, and will soon be launching a new Disney-brand direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019. When this was announced last year, there was talk that Marvel and LucasFilm may not be included in the streaming service but instead could be given their own platform. Well, it seems as though Disney is wanting to acquire back the right of ‘Star Wars’ to offer on their new streaming service.

Disney has made inquiries about regaining those rights, but according to sources that asked to remain unidentified, could not come to an agreement. Turner Broadcasting, who owns TBS and TNT, owns the rights to show the ‘Star Wars’ films on their networks and online until 2024. According to Bloomberg, the programmer would want financial considerations and programming to replace the lost films, one person said. The talks haven’t advanced further.

Before the plans for the streaming service were complete, Disney sold some rights to Turner in 2016. Since then, 4 new ‘Star Wars’ films have been released since Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012, with plans for another film to be released next year. Turner Broadcasting paid about $275 million for the six ‘Star Wars’ movies released between 1977 and 2005, plus the newer titles.

Disney is already terminating their deal with Netflix that gave the company rights to new releases, including four “Star Wars’’ titles. That deal expires at the end of this year.

Source: Bloomberg

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