It’s a sunny day in South Park, Colorado.
The show has signed three-year extensions on its Comedy Central and Hulu deals, both of which had two years remaining. While its pact with the the network will keep it on broadcast TV for another five years, the show’s accord with Hulu is worth a reported $192 million and will secure streaming rights through 2020.
Comedy Central’s parent company Viacom will profit directly from the streaming bonanza, splitting the $192 million 50/50 with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In fact, THR reports that part of the streaming booty will be used to underwrite current production costs, a rarity in the industry.
Parker and Stone will continue to write and direct every episode, and are particularly thrilled with the streaming windfall, considering that they were once dissuaded from seeking profits in this space. Stone was recently quoted as saying “it comes full circle since the tech guys came to Hollywood and said you better give us your stuff for free to put online or else it will be taken from you anyway.”
Trey and Matt initially complied with South Park Studios, but now things have changed, and the pair are reaping an enormous sum of money. The $192 Hulu deal is the biggest content deal in the streaming service’s history, besting even Seinfeld’s $160 million payout.
The Comedy Central deal is significant for both parties as well. It will carry South Park into truly rarefied air in terms of longevity, and will keep one of the network’s tentpoles planted firmly in the ground. Denial being the first stage of grief, no one is quite ready to admit that Jon Stewart will soon retire, but when he does, network execs will sleep better knowing that South Park is around for the long haul.
One of TV’s longest-tenured shows, South Park’s biting satire of any and all products of the public consciousness continues to break new ground with each season. The show has logged 18 seasons and 257 episodes of rude, crude, and irreverent comedy and now counts fans among several different generations.