Tuesday, August 09, 2016

NBC buys the rights to Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises. Seven-year deal could could bolster cable ratings and theme park attendance.

Crain's New York reports:
Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal has acquired the rights to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises from Warner Bros. in a move that could bolster ratings at its cable networks and attendance at its theme parks.

The seven-year deal, which begins in July 2018, will make all eight Harry Potter films and the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts movies available on NBC’s portfolio of cable networks, which include USA and Syfy, according to a company statement Monday. It also lets NBC’s theme parks host fan events, movie screenings and promotional activities tied to both franchises.

Walt Disney Co.’s Freeform, formerly called ABC Family, currently has the rights to the Potter films. NBC will gain the rights to show the movies in an exclusive window. The Fantastic Beasts films will debut first on HBO and then be exclusive to NBC’s cable networks.

The deal between NBCUniversal and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. is valued at about $200 million though could increase based on the success of the Fantastic Beasts films, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private deal terms. The movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in a trilogy of Potter spinoffs, will debut in November and is projected to make more than $200 million at the box office, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.<