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Recap: Streaming platforms like Disney+, Netflix, Peacock and Amazon Prime Video have been cannibalizing traditional broadcast and cable television for years, scooping up viewers that have grown weary of expensive monthly cable bills as well as younger generations that may have never had cable TV at all.
Disney's Star Wars series The Mandalorian is coming to broadcast television for one night only and it all happens later this month. What's the big deal, you ask?
In celebration of the upcoming third season of the hit show, Disney is giving everyone the opportunity to watch the episode that started it all absolutely free. Episode one of The Mandalorian will make its broadcast debut simultaneously on ABC, Freeform and FX (all owned by Disney) on February 24 at 8 p.m. Eastern. Freeform and FX are pay channels but you can receive ABC free over the air using an antenna.
Bringing a powerhouse like The Mandalorian to regular television is akin to a free trial, except the user doesn't have to jump through any hoop or sign up for anything – they just tune in at the designated time. Sure, we're only talking about a single episode –season one, episode one – but when you have a great show on your hands, it only takes one episode to get hooked.
Want to watch the rest of the series? Sure, just sign up for Disney+ (the exclusive home of The Mandalorian) and get caught up. It's all part of the plan.
Disney reported 164.2 million subscribers in its last earnings report from November but we will get updated figures after the close of regular trading today. The report will also be the first to feature numbers from Disney's new ad-supported tier that launched in December.
The third season of The Mandalorian will begin streaming on March 1 and will consist of eight episodes. Each of the first two seasons was also comprised of eight episodes, with new episodes dropping once a week on a traditional schedule.