Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of the long-running Comedy Central animated show South Park, have struck an exclusive deal with Hulu to host the series—including its 244-episode archive as well as new episodes—on the content streaming service, the New York Times reported.
According to the terms of the three-year deal, which is worth more than $80 million, Hulu will make all 17 seasons’ worth of the show’s content available for free until Sept. 24, when the show’s 18th season begins. After that, the series’ archive will go behind a paywall, available only to subscribers of Hulu’s premium streaming service, Hulu Plus. New episodes will be available the day after they air on Viacom’s Comedy Central on both Hulu.com and Hulu Plus. In addition, Hulu.com will host a revolving selection of 30 episodes for free, Variety reported.
As the Times noted, South Park has historically been available via a range of platforms — “on basic cable, syndicated on ad-supported television, on Netflix, on SouthParkStudios.com and on Hulu.” But with competition between content streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Yahoo, and Amazon heating up, exclusivity has become paramount. The deal, which was announced on Saturday as part of the Television Critics Association summer press tour, parallels others engineered by Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins over the last year. As the Hollywood Reporter wrote, the service also “inked an exclusive deal with NBCUniversal in April that included seasons of Fox’s The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Nashville and Elementary also stream exclusively on the platform.”
The full archive of South Park episodes will be available for free on the website SouthParkStudios.com (now powered by Hulu) until the Sept. 24 season premiere, at which point the site will, like Hulu.com, offer only a revolving selection.
Hulu’s content chief Craig Erwich said of the deal, “South Park has revolutionized TV and pushed boundaries with unparalleled topicality and daring humor. We’re thrilled to offer the series to fans in its entirety.”