Syfy and USA to Host First “Wizarding Weekend” This Week!
Back in May, we learned that the streaming rights to the Harry Potter movies would be moving to the NBCUniversal-owned networks Syfy and USA this summer. Now, the first of their announced “Wizarding Weekends” is almost upon us!
In a recent press release, the networks announced that on July 13–15, all eight Harry Potter films would air with limited commercial interruption. To make things even more exciting, the first six films will be the extended director’s cut versions! Exclusive interviews and special features will also air during the weekend. If you’ve already made plans for this weekend, you may want to start thinking of excuses now.
Additionally, the networks also revealed that Wizarding Weekends are only one of the special events they have planned. In the future, USA and Syfy will host special promotions, including a Back to Hogwarts Marathon, Dark Arts Marathon, Wizarding World Week, and special Christmas Marathon. Even better, the Fantastic Beasts movies will eventually be included in the rights deal, with the first film arriving in 2019.
While some fans might have been thrown off by the lightning-quick movement of the streaming rights from Freeform to HBO to Syfy and USA in recent years, it looks like this arrangement will be in place for a while – the networks hold the rights through 2025. Plus, if you happen to be at one of Universal’s Harry Potter parks, you may get a chance to participate in fully immersive entertainment experiences sponsored by the network.
Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, praised the networks’ plans:
Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of [t]he [w]izarding [w]orld on television. With SYFY, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.
Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, USA Network & Syfy, also spoke in favor of the deal.
Both networks will have a unique but complementary [w]izarding [w]orld look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year – on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE – that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands. And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.
How excited are you for Wizarding Weekends to begin?