(November 29, 2001 – Burbank, CA) - In another precedent setting agreement, ABC and Warner Bros. today announced that the company has secured all non-pay television rights to the hottest movie of the season, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” while simultaneously acquiring the advance rights to the upcoming November 2002 sequel, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The deal gives ABC the opportunity to provide several of its family business programming platforms with this popular film, including the ABC Television Network, ABC Family and Disney Channel. The terms of the agreement include a ten-year license for each film. The broadcast network will take the first run, with subsequent runs then shared between ABC Family and Disney Channel. In making the announcement, Steve Bornstein, president, ABC Broadcast Group, stated, “This significant deal provides clear and distinct opportunities for three of our programming platforms - the ABC Television Network, ABC Family and the Disney Channel. More importantly, this acquisition will provide our viewers with numerous occasions to experience these great family adventures. Properties such as 'Harry Potter,’ that so perfectly align with our core family business, are few and far between, and we look forward to being involved with Harry and Hogwarts for many years to come.” “‘Harry Potter’ is already considered a timeless family classic that audiences all over the world have embraced in record numbers,” said Eric Frankel, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution. “We think that ABC, with its multi-family platforms, is a terrific vehicle to showcase this film, which is a phenomena like very few others in the history of our business.” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” made box office history by earning a stellar $90,500,000 its opening weekend, and has currently grossed more than $190,000,000 in the U.S. alone. To date, the series of Harry Potter books, authored by J. K. Rowling, have sold more than 120 million copies worldwide.
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