“Harry Potter” Films to Leave Freeform in 2018!

Weekends in 2018 are about to be a lot less magical for viewers of Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family). The channel, which has been known for years for its Harry Potter Weekend lineups, has lost its licensing rights to the films, according to multiple sources, including Collider.

Collider explains that Freeform’s loss of the right to air the Harry Potter films comes as the result of an exclusive deal between NBCUniversal and HBO. The change will take effect on January 1.

The change comes as a result of NBCUniversal striking a deal to bring the Harry Potter films to HBO starting January 1st [sic], which marks the beginning of an exclusive licensing window. While some pegged this as a possibility when the deal was announced, we’ve confirmed with Freeform that the NBCUniversal deal with HBO is exclusive—meaning no more Harry Potter on Freeform starting January 1, 2018.

So far, Freeform has not announced how its schedule will change to fill the Harry Potter void, but Collider notes that HBO has plans for the new year that involve a Harry Potter marathon.

HBO is kicking off its new license on January 1st [sic] with Sorcerer’s Stone starting at 9am ET/PT and ending with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in the early hours of January 2nd [sic]. The whole marathon starts anew on January 2nd [sic] at 8pm ET/PT, airing one Potter film a night through January 10ht [sic].

As an added bonus, the films won’t just be available on television. With HBO holding the rights, the move will “make the entire franchise available to stream for the first time ever through HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO On Demand, and affiliate portals.” In other words, fans can look forward to some “Harry Potter and chill,” which sounds pretty magical to us!

What do you think of the deal between NBCUniversal and HBO? Will this change the way you watch the Harry Potter films? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!