Comedy Central has just purchased three National Lampoon films for air before they've had their theatrical release. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they now have the first broadcast rights, and will show the films within a year of their Cineplex debut.

The three movies in questioned are all scheduled to come out next year, and include National Lampoon's Bag Boy, National Lampoon's Ratko: The Dictator's Son, and National Lampoon's 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus Wallace Leonidas. The fact that Comedy Central will get the air rights only a year after their theatrical run is unusual in that they usually have to wait three-to-four years to get the rights to a theatrical feature. The network has the title rights for four years, including a two year window ahead of any pay cable network, such as Showtime, that would likely air them.

Comedy Central's David Bernath stated, "When we're buying movies through the traditional route ... it usually takes 2 1/2 to three years minimum to get our hands on it. The opportunity to get involved with National Lampoon ... and get the films a lot sooner than mainstream studio fare was a real strategic hook."