All episodes of Comedy Central’s South Park had been available for free from the South Park Studios website since 2008, as well as streaming services such as Netflix. That changed Saturday as Viacom, Trey Stone, and Matt Parker announced a deal with Hulu that puts the entire library on the streaming service. Streaming access will be further limited starting this fall with the premiere of the popular animated show’s 18th season.
Starting Saturday, July 12, all 244 episodes of South Park are available to stream for free via Hulu from SouthPark.cc.com. When the season 18 premiere airs on Sept. 24, Hulu will offer day after streaming for each of the new episodes. However, access to all of the previous seasons will be replaced by a revolving selection of 30 free episodes.
— Danielle Turchiano (@danielletbd) July 12, 2014
“South Park has revolutionized TV and pushed boundaries with unparalleled topicality and daring humor,” said Craig Erwich, Head of Content, Hulu. “South Park has been one of the top ten most popular shows of all time on the platform. We’re thrilled to offer the series to fans in its entirety.”
“This is a natural partnership for us,” said Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park. “We are excited that the entire library will be available on Hulu and that the best technology around will power South Park Digital Studios.”
What’s not mentioned in the official announcement is how much the deal between Viacom and Hulu is worth. According to sources with the New York Times, the deal is worth “in excess of $80 million” for three years.
The Media Equation: Hulu to Stream ‘South Park’ as More Players Jostle for Online Rights http://t.co/CSaVmDUn6U
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 12, 2014
“What we do is expensive, it takes a lot of people, and it makes sense to put it through windows in a way that produces a lot of value,” Stone told the New York Times. “We do what we do because we act like we own the stuff and try to surf whatever wave is out there.”
The deal shows the desire for exclusive content among the major streaming players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Netflix has exclusives like House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey, while Amazon Prime has tried creating its own content as well; they recently picked up rights to stream HBO’s original programming as well as Nickelodeon shows. Even console makers like Microsoft and Sony are getting in on the act with the former producing a series based on the Powers comic and the latter producing a slate of programming that includes live-action Halo series.