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Why does TNT/TBS air A Christmas Story for 24 hours?

It’s time once again for “24 Hours of A Christmas Story.” Wondering why this happens every year?

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‘A Christmas Story’ house

The holiday season is upon us and while that means gifts and family, it also means tradition. And what tradition is better than “24 Hours of A Christmas Story”?

TBS and TNT will be airing A Christmas Story for 24 hours starting Christmas Eve and running through Christmas. TBS will run from 8 p.m. ET on Friday to 8 p.m. on Saturday while TNT will run from 9 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you won’t be in front of a television, you can watch the marathon via live stream at WatchTBS and WatchTNT. If you don’t have a cable log-in, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream the movie. If you’d rather watch it without the commercials, it is also available on HBO Max and Hulu.

This marks the 25th year one or both channels will air a 24 hour marathon of the classic Christmas movie. The marathon began on TNT in 1997. TBS joined in the marathon in 2004 and after alternating between the channels, WarnerMedia has been airing it on both channels every year since 2017.

Why do we get the marathon every year? The movie was not overly popular when it came out in 1983. However, in 1985, things began to pivot. Ted Turner purchased MGM studio that year and with it came the rights to a massive film library that included A Christmas Story. Turner sold off the studio the following year but retained the film library.

Turner started airing the movie on its various channels in 1991 and increased it as ratings grew. It is a silly movie that has gone from cult classic to outright popular classic. More and more people have been watching it, and in 1997, Turner went all in and turned it into a 24-hour marathon.