It's been nearly one year since Disney announced that it will pull all of its movies from Netflix and launch its own streaming service in late 2019, including both TV shows and movies from Marvel and Star Wars. This week, however, Bloomberg reports that the company is facing troubles with the TV rights to the Star Wars film franchise, dating back to a deal it made with Turner Broadcasting in 2016.

apple tv app star wars
Under that agreement, Turner gained the linear basic cable and companion ad-supported on-demand rights to five of the six Star Wars films released between 1977 and 2005 (The Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith), as well as the new films that began releasing in 2015 (as of now including The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story). With these rights, which also includes A New Hope rights inked in a deal with 20th Century Fox, Turner has been airing the Star Wars movies on networks like TNT and TBS, and its deal with Disney grants it the ability to keep doing so until 2024.

Now that Disney is planning its own dedicated streaming service, however, the company wants these rights back so it can be the sole location for users to find and stream the entire Star Wars canon. To do so, Disney has made a "preliminary inquiry" about regaining the rights, but has "met resistance" from Turner, according to people familiar with the matter.

Turner would reportedly want financial considerations and programming to replace the Star Wars films it would lose, but the talks have yet to advance. If Disney doesn't get the rights back, its streaming service would be missing one of the main franchises that many users would be signing up for, although new Star Wars content could appear, such as numerous Star Wars TV shows "specifically" created for the service.

As we get near the launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer app, more of its films have begun disappearing from Netflix, including titles like Finding Dory this month. In regards to Star Wars, Bloomberg reports that Disney's deal with Netflix for recent Star Wars films -- including the currently-streaming Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- will expire "at the end of this year."

Similar to Disney, Apple is on the hunt to fill its own upcoming streaming TV service with an instant catalog of existing shows and potentially even movies. Apple hasn't discussed its streaming service as much as Disney, however, so it's still unclear how it will launch, how much it will be (Disney says its own will be priced "substantially below" Netflix), and when exactly users will be able to watch the first TV shows beyond sometime after March 2019.

At the same time that Disney attempts to negotiate the TV rights to the Star Wars films back into its fold, the company is nearing completion on its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, which will provide another influx of content for its streaming service.

Top Rated Comments

nt5672 Avatar
36 months ago
I am not looking forward to this new world where you have to subscribe to 10 different streaming services to see the desired content. I think the best advice is just to avoid them all until they do sharing agreements.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rosalindavenue Avatar
36 months ago
Turner has Disney over a barrel and rightfully so. Disney agreed in 2016 (!) to a long term deal. Everybody knew streaming was the future in 2016. Turner should hold out for big money and big programming.

Off topic... damn I hope the merger lets Disney issue original versions of the original trilogy... I’m not buying or streaming the “special editions” any more...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
36 months ago
I am not looking forward to this new world where you have to subscribe to 10 different streaming services to see the desired content. I think the best advice is just to avoid them all until they do sharing agreements.
They had that. It was called cable or satt service: one fee for content from nearly all providers.

We the consumers then started wishing that away, deluded by some idea that we should be able to buy only the channels we want to watch for a huge discount off of the 200-500 channel bundled pricing. Of course, no other player in the chain wanted to do that... nor has to do that.

So now, we continue marching toward a point where we'll be spending MORE than we were before for less available content... or spending less but doing without ready access to stuff we actually would have historically enjoyed being able to watch and/or other compromises, especially to quality of programming (stuff like Dolby Digital sound, full-featured DVR functions, etc).

With this Disney move, it appears that maybe 2 or 3 companies will end up controlling almost all of the video content, much like 2 or 3 companies pretty much dominate the cellular service space. Elimination of healthy competition typically leads to consumers paying more... often for less (because where you going to go?). Example right here in this topic: Disney is wanting to become the lone source of Star Wars content. If you really want access to that via stream, you will HAVE to be a subscriber to Disney. Other players like Comcast and AT&T are very likely to be buying big libraries to basically do the same kind of thing: "If you want what we have, you HAVE to buy it from us." As Apple people well aware of exclusivity and "lock in" concepts, we know how that goes very well... and how relatively expensive that can be.

Cheaper options like Netflix will lose more desirable content to the big dogs that are rolling their own Netflix-like services (but NOT at a Netflix-like price). I expect the cheap options to die not because they can't function at current pricing but because access to the desirable content will be monetized accordingly... and only available from one source elsewhere.

Many of us celebrated Disney's purchase of Fox but that also gives Disney 60% ownership of Hulu. Care to guess where Hulu traditional cheaper pricing will go after the deal is fully done?

Disney is much like Apple in terms of wanting to be paid top dollar for their products, and flexing their muscles to create lock-in exclusivity so they can be the only source. Around here, many seem to wish away the Spotifys, the Samsungs, the PC vendors, the Microsofts, the Google's etc as if Apple gaining complete control over stuff that currently has competition would be great for us consumers. And if that happened? Apple would charge whatever it wants and we would whine about how expensive it is... just as we often do now when there are at least SOME competitors. This will go the same way.

I saw some information that said the typical US household spends about $73/month on television service (cable/satt). The cord cutter crowd has some delusion of getting what they want for much less than whatever they used to pay for cable or satt. However, the suppliers look at a number like $73/month/household and work hard every day on how to GROW that number. Their goal is to pull that up... just like Apple looking to pull up how much each iPhone buyer spends on new iPhones + increasingly near-necessary accessory items.

Disney is positioning to make streaming video much more profitable. As we know from Apple experiences, "much more profits" don't come from pockets other than our own. The squeeze is coming soon. I suspect we'll soon realize in full that our "savings" gets us much less than we used to get and that "the future" options to approximate the old, "antiquated", "rip off" options will prove more expensive on a per month, per household basis.

If so, the moral of the story is a very, very old one: Be careful what you wish for.
[doublepost=1533320495][/doublepost]
Here is an idea: make 1 single streaming service that provides all movies and all series, instead of tens smaller ones.
This part is possible. And Apple has largely already set up just such a service many years ago. The problem?

Pay 20-30-50 bucks per month and that’s it.
Nobody else in the supply channel is motivated to take the HUGE hit to deliver everything for cheaper. That's OUR delusion. We believe we can somehow get that.

We might as well extrapolate that out with expectations of new iPhones for- say- $100 and new MB Pros for- say- $100 too. It's basically the same. Apple as creators and owners of their products want to make a target revenue + profit from their creations. And creators and owners of video content want to do the exact same thing. Just as Apple won't arbitrarily decide to give us huge discounts so we can buy new iDevices and Macs at dirt-cheap prices, so it goes for owners of other kinds of products too.

The single service with everything is attainable if we are willing to pay up big for that. Apple has actually been pretty close to that for many years now.

However, if we demand a relatively large discount off of normal for cable/satt, we should expect significant compromises, lack of availability, fragmented sources, etc... pretty much exactly as this is unfolding. There is no magical player- Apple included- who can bring everything to us for nearly nothing in cost.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
36 months ago
I am not looking forward to this new world where you have to subscribe to 10 different streaming services to see the desired content. I think the best advice is just to avoid them all until they do sharing agreements.
I laugh every time I read a comment similar to yours regarding subscription to multiple services.

It was not too long ago that a lot of members here and online elsewhere were yelling about a la carte content. Specifically buying “channels” separately. I and other got shouted down when we said that wouldn’t work out how they imagined. That it would be expensive.

Now what we have said is coming through.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGuder Avatar
36 months ago
Bottom line, if you want to see Star Wars movie just buy the Blu ray, use the download code included and watch it when you want to...over and over again.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
36 months ago
They had that. It was called cable or satt service: one fee for content from nearly all providers.

We the consumers then started wishing that away, deluded by some idea that we should be able to buy only the channels we want to watch for a huge discount off of the 200-500 channel bundled pricing. Of course, no other player in the chain wanted to do that... nor has to do that.
This Disney approach is not a la carte tv at all. Disney is pulling all content into a separate provider, with a separate subscription.

What I find now, is that it is more satisfying to go outside, walk around, talk to the neighbors, etc. than watch TV with its Fake News, and movies that are more propaganda than entertaining. I know that has nothing to do with Disney's new subscription service, except that they, and other media providers, value their service much more than I do.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
precision finding developer mode

AirTag Precision Finding Interface Includes Hidden 'Developer Mode'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:32 am PDT by
A frustrated AirTag owner has inadvertently discovered the existence of a hidden "developer mode" in the on-screen interface that Find My displays when the Precision Finding feature is activated to help locate one of Apple's item trackers. Precision Finding is a feature that provides users with specific on-screen directions for finding a nearby AirTag. iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes ...