Countdown to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens….53 days. Fans of the franchise can look forward to the film heading to Netflix in 2016, but only if you live in Canada.
According to Variety, Canada is the only territory with current rights to stream the film. The reason for this move has to do with the companies and area’s pay-TV distribution deals.
In the U.S., premium cable channel Starz has an exclusive output deal with Disney that runs through the end of 2015; Netflix’s pact with the Mouse House commences with 2016 titles. With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” slated for Dec. 18 theatrical debut, that means Starz will be the pay-TV home for the movie in the U.S.
Fortuitously for Netflix Canada subs, the company’s deal with Disney started with 2015 releases after the previous agreements for the pay-TV window with Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada expired. A Netflix rep confirmed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is slated to come to the service in the country; under the terms of the deal, that will occur approximately eight months after the movie leaves theaters.
As for now, looks like the United States will not have this film available for streaming. Most expect the film to stay playing in theaters for an extended amount of time. The thought of having an in-home viewing of the film, legally, anytime soon is still a ways away.
There is also word that Disney is considering to offer streaming rights of the past six Star Wars films on various streaming video on demand platforms. The plan has not been confirmed but the concept is being taken into consideration.
Do you think the Star Wars films should be available for steaming on sites like Netflix?