TNT has secured the network television rights to “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” movie franchises in an expansive deal with Lionsgate. The acquisition includes the network premiere windows for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” bowing in theaters this November, and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” slated for theatrical release in November 2015.
The deal also includes network premiere windows for “Divergent” and sequel “Insurgent,” which will hit theaters in March 2015, along with two further follow-up films, making TNT the first basic cable network with access to all four “Divergent” pics at the same time. Additionally, the pact includes telecast rights to “The Hunger Games” and sequel “Catching Fire.” “The Hunger Games” will air on TNT in winter 2015, with “Catching Fire” following in winter 2016, “Mockingjay – Part 1″ airing in 2017, and “Part 2″ in 2018.
The cabler’s premiere window for “Divergent” begins in 2016, with the three sequel films following in the subsequent three years.
“The ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ franchises fit perfectly within TNT’s brand evolution and expansion into action-packed genre programming,” said Michael Wright, President, Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “Like our current hits ‘The Last Ship’ and ‘Legends’ and the upcoming series ‘The Librarians,’ the movies in these franchises are ideal for drawing young adults to the network. We look forward to making ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ movies the kind of event programming that will engage and excite fans for years to come.”
“We’re delighted to launch this partnership with TNT for two of our biggest global franchises,” said Jim Packer, Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution. “The agreement underscores the breadth and depth of our content portfolio and supplies TNT with blockbuster franchises that will resonate with their audiences for many years to come.”
The deal comes into effect after the pay TV window for both franchises. EPIX has first-run pay TV rights to the “Hunger Games” franchise, with the first film and “Catching Fire” currently available through the multiplatform service’s cable channel, On Demand service, website and apps. ABC Family had the network TV rights to “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” prior to the TNT deal. HBO has first-run pay TV rights for the “Divergent” franchise.
The deals mark the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions for TNT, after the cabler won the rights for Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” franchise and secured the first two films in Jackson’s “Hobbit” series.
Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” films are based on the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins, while the “Divergent” films are based on the best-selling novels by Veronica Roth.