The deal is reported to be worth a much as $250 million and is the largest movie acquisition in the company’s history.
NBCUniversal has acquired the rights to air the Harry Potter movies in the US, as well as the upcoming Fantastic Beasts series from owners Warner Bros. The television rights were previously held by Disney in a seven-year deal, but NBC will take them over from July 2018.
NBCUniversal will be airing the Fantastic Beasts movies from 2018
According to the Wall Street Journal, although exact terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, it's speculated that it could be valued as high as $250 million, making it one of the largest for a movie franchise and the biggest acquisition in NBC Universal's history.
“NBC was willing to step up significantly to acquire the franchise,” said Jeffrey Schlesinger, Warner Bros. president of Worldwide Television Distribution. “It made sense to marshal all the assets we have.”
As part of the deal NBCUniversal will also be able to use the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts' source material at several of its Universal theme parks which includes the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter' attraction in Hollywood.
The films will air on NBC’s USA and Syfy channels, which have been trying to attract a younger audience in recent years. “When you have an iconic franchise like this, it has a lot of value,” Chris McCumber, president of NBCUniversal Cable’s entertainment networks unit told the WSJ. “You end up getting a younger audience who comes in to discover them.”