NBCUniversal announced Monday that they acquired an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution for broadcast and cable network television rights in the United States to all of the films in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise. Not only does this include all 8 of the original Harry Potter films, but the soon-to-be released Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film and its sequels as well.
This gives NBCUniversal the rights to air the films across all of their television channels, with SyFy and USA Network specifically mentioned, starting July 1, 2018. According to their press release, NBCUniversal promised that they will also bring viewers additional content that includes extended director’s cut versions of the first two Harry Potter films, the 2011 “When Harry Left Hogwarts” featurette, and 3D versions of the last two films in the Harry Potter series.
“We are pleased to bring one of the most successful and enduring global franchises to the networks of NBCUniversal,” said Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution. “We feel this is a perfect new home for the ‘Harry Potter’ films and the upcoming ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films. Having all of these films in one place builds upon the existing relationship we already have with NBCUniversal and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and creates many exciting new opportunities across multiple platforms for both our companies and the fans of this franchise.”
In addition to the films, this deal means good news for the theme parks, too. Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Japan can explore a range of new opportunities including fan events, movie screenings and promotional activities tied to the Harry Potter franchise and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film series.
“Each of the Harry Potter areas within our theme parks around the globe build on the incredible stories of J.K. Rowling and the amazing films created by Warner Bros.,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Parks & Resorts. “These are special places where the entire family can experience the adventures of Harry Potter.”
The deal includes on-air and digital rights across NBCUniversal television networks through April 2025 as well as theme park and digital initiatives with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, which showcases exclusive, original writings by J.K. Rowling.