As South Park plays the field, streaming platforms are circling the hilarious cartoon’s streaming rights with hundreds of millions of dollars.
Friends, The Office, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air: the advent of streaming has breathed new, continuous life into modern classic shows.
South Park is set to be the latest bingeable series to benefit from reruns, as Viacom – the media giant behind Comedy Central – aims to close a deal by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.
Around a dozen companies are vying for the US streaming rights including HBO Max and Peacock, which are currently held by Disney’s Hulu.
According to Bloomberg‘s sources – who asked not to be named, as the negotiations are private – a deal could be secured as soon as next week.
Under Hulu’s current deal, the platform gets episodes one day after they premiere on Comedy Central. Prior to Hulu, South Park streamed on Netflix.
In the UK, you can stream South Park on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Viacom and the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, expect the new multiyear deal to net double what Hulu paid in 2015 – it entered into a deal to pay Viacom and the show’s creative team $192 million over five years.
South Park would be the latest show to reap the financial rewards of dropping on a streaming service, along with Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory – however, it’s slightly different with Parker and Stone’s cartoon.
It’s still producing new episodes and has been renewed for a further three seasons, remaining the longest-running show on Comedy Central. As witnessed by the recent China controversy, it’s also still incredibly popular, sparking conversation, laughs and outrage across the globe.
Kyle returns to South Park and gives Stan a great idea, but the boys realize they can't betray their ideals. Watch the all-new episode, “Band In China” for FREE – https://t.co/oktKSJvjxS #southpark23 #fingerbang pic.twitter.com/Bq5K6gWjOV
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 3, 2019
Despite its sheer volume – there are more than 300 episodes and counting – it won’t earn the same amount per episode as more compact shows, but Viacom says the deal will still be financially comparable to other landmark streaming agreements.
The streaming thunderdome is about to become much wilder, with Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal dropping their own platforms.
It. Is. Time. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Mandalorian, check out basically everything coming to #DisneyPlus in the U.S. on November 12.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) October 14, 2019
Disney+ has a whopping catalogue of content, with every Marvel film, Disney classic and thousands of others, among new content. Apple TV+ is set to produce a follow-up to Band of Brothers, a major prestige release from a new platform.
Netflix will see some of its big hitters stripped, with The West Wing moving to HBO Max, The Office moving to NBCU, and WarnerMedia taking back Friends.
It’s not currently clear how these deals will affect UK users and their respective platforms, which are under different agreements to the US (the big reason why we still don’t know when Disney+ will become available).
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.