For any television viewer who has watched of ABC Family, you know that Harry Potter is very much a part of the network, with marathons of the franchise running multiple times a year. After opening to more than $125 million domestically, ABC Family has acquired the television broadcast rights to the finale two Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2.
With this acquisition, ABC Family now has the broadcast rights for the entire Harry Potter film franchise and will be able to run all eight movies back to back. Something that I'm sure will have any Harry Potter fan stupefied with excitement.
Unfortunately, such excitement will be accompanied by a lengthy simmer, as the two Deathly Hallows films are not expected to premiere until 2013. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 just now premiering in theaters (read our official Deathly Hallows: Part 1 review), its television broadcast premiere will not be until early to mid 2013. The highly anticipated conclusion, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which is slated for release on July 15, 2011, won’t air on television until Winter 2013.
Considering that Deathly Hallows: Part 1 just had the largest opening for the beloved franchise, one has to wonder what exactly the television rights for such a film might cost. While no specific number has been released, we do have a basis for comparison.
When we previously reported that ABC Family had purchased the broadcast rights for Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, it was revealed that a movie of that caliber – which opened to $116 million - often fetches around $24 million.
With Harry Potter being a major staple for ABC and the franchise providing more substantial broadcast opportunities and organized broadcasting events (read: marathons) than Alice In Wonderland, one could easily estimate that ABC Family paid anywhere from $60-$80 million combined, for the two films.
While a number such as that might seem a bit outrageous, one has to keep in mind that from the ad-rates that the network will change and the promotion that comes from being the sole network to air such popular films, it’s easily worth it.
The only thing ABC has to worry about is if the Mayan calendar and John Cusack’s filmography are correct and 2012 turns out to be a “rough” year.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2 premiers on ABC Family, in 2013