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ABC Family Buys Rights for "Half-Blood Prince," OotP

Posted by: sue
September 26, 2008, 12:26 PM

Cable channel ABC Family will continue their tradition of broadcasting the Harry Potter films as they have now secured the cable rights to movies five and six. Variety reports that ABC Family now “has cable rights to “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” 10 months in advance of its theatrical debut, and [is] making a belated pickup of the 2007 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

These airings are very popular with Harry Potter fans, and often rank high in ratings, as the trade magazine notes: “Tom Zappala, senior VP of program acquisitions and scheduling for ABC Family, said the movies have become one of the bellwethers of the network’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming initiative, often getting key primetime slots.”

The channel often broadcasts marathons of the films right before a new installment in the series is to be launched, and confirmed plans are the same for the release of “Half-Blood Prince” next summer. “Zappala said he’ll work with Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, to help launch the theatrical release of “Half Blood Prince” in July by running a marathon of the first four “Harry Potter” films. These cross-promotion strategies often draw more people into the multiplexes at the same time as they’re adding to the Nielsen ratings of the older titles on the network.”

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