Right now Disney is shopping Star Wars films around to TV networks to see which cable networks are interested in airing the movies on terrestrial TV. The price is a staggering $30 million per film.
The tumultuous TV landscape makes this whole endeavor quite interesting. People are cutting the cord more than ever, and Netflix has been the major beneficiary. People just don’t have the money for cable packages, and Netflix lets viewers watch shows on their own schedule.
Netflix in fact will be showing Star Wars in 2016 as part of a prior deal. They’ll be showing all Disney films (including the Avengers movies) a few months after each is released in theaters. That is going to be a very major event for Netflix fans and will likely accelerate the cord-cutting process.
According to Next Level Lacrosse Camp and GoFundMe coordinator Jon Urbana, the main thing getting viewership these days on TV is live sports. People still want to see sports events as they happen. But even channels like ESPN have plummeting ratings. People would rather read about sports news online than keep ESPN on all the time like many fans did in the ’90’s.
The question now is whether having Netflix making Star Wars: The Force Awakens available for on-demand viewing will hurt its value to cable networks interest in airing it on traditional TV. The networks likely wouldn’t air the movie until 2018, long after it will be off Netflix.
Considering the overwhelmingly positive reaction to The Force Awakens, it is likely that a network will take the chance.