Initially, the idea of paying $250 million to air Star Wars on your basic cable stations seems absurd. Add to that, you won’t be able to air the newest films for another two years. But the more you think about it, the more it begins to make sense. No one else on basic cable will be able to air some of the biggest movies in history. The networks are also almost guaranteed to garner an audience when the movies are playing. And, of course, May 4th will net you some of the biggest audiences your networks will have seen.
The downside to this deal though is who is still watching basic cable? With cable prices high enough to start nosebleeds, most consumers have just an internet package for streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Furthermore, The Force Awakens was released on Blu-ray in April. As of today, it’s sold well over 5 million units domestically. So, it may be safe to assume that most of the Star Wars fans in the US own a copy. The answer to the original question is not many people.
With most of the facts presented, imagine this scenario: it’s another Saturday afternoon and you’ve got no plans. You make yourself a small lunch and turn on the T.V. for some background noise. That’s when the horns begin to blare to that all too familiar tune. You’ve just stumbled across a Star Wars marathon on T.V., and what started out as a lazy Saturday is now one of the best afternoons you’ve had in a long time.