South Park Streaming Deal

South Park has been making headlines lately for poking and prodding at the oppressive Chinese government and its endless attempts to censor its citizens from any criticism in the media whatsoever. That may not be good for the show’s exposure in China, where it’s been banned, but in the United States, it’s not preventing creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone (as well as Comedy Central parent company Viacom Inc.) from landing a huge deal for the exclusive streaming rights to the complete series.

Bloomberg has word that a South Park streaming deal is looking to land between $450 million and $500 million. The show is in the middle of its 23rd season and recently passed 300 episodes. Each individual episode won’t be worth as much as some of the other big shows that have sold recently, simply because South Park has been on so long and has a much larger library of episodes, but that’s still a hefty overall price tag for the series. In fact, the current estimates would nearly double what Hulu paid for the South Park streaming rights back in 2015. But who will pick it up now?

NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service Peacock threw down $500 million to land the exclusive streaming rights to The Office when that show leaves Netflix. WarnerMedia picked up Friends for the same amount, and they also bought all of The Big Bang Theory for $600 million. Meanwhile, Netflix recently snagged the complete series of Seinfeld for $500 million. Any of these companies could end up snagging South Park once the rights are back up for grabs. But don’t count Hulu out, because they might try to hold on to the show if the price doesn’t get too high for their tastes.

However, you likely won’t see Apple making any bids for South Park. Not only has the tech company been looking to keep their content for Apple TV+ on the less risky and edgy side of entertainment, but they also happen to sell a lot of iPhones in China. And they’re likely not willing to hurt their revenue stream by picking up the show that has been banned there thanks to recent episodes mocking their government’s censorship practices.

No matter who snags the rights to South Park, this is going to be a huge pay day for Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The two creators of the show struck a deal with Viacom back in 2007 to split the profits from digital rights right down the middle, with the company getting half and the creators taking the other half. Not only does that deal include streaming, but also video games and mobile content. Parker and Stone certainly know how to hold on to their creation, and once this deal closes, they’ll have a lot of money to do whatever they want. Maybe we’ll finally see them give their Broadway musical The Book of Mormon the big screen treatment, or that G-rated Giant Monsters Attack Japan movie that has been in development for over a decade.

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