HBO Max gets ‘South Park’ exclusive streaming rights

HBO Max gets ‘South Park’ exclusive streaming rights

Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick attend The Paley Center for Media presents special retrospective event honoring 20 seasons of ‘South Park’ at The Paley Center for Media on September 1, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

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All 23 seasons of “South Park” will be heading to HBO Max in June 2020.

The AT&T-owned streaming service announced Tuesday that it had secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the satirical animated show in a multiyear licensing deal.

“South Park is unequivocally among the best — setting the satirical gold standard, with a consistent finger on the comedy pulse,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV. “Audiences have connected with Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny – either alive or dead – for over 20 years, and we look forward to connecting these characters to new audiences on HBO Max.”

In addition to hundreds of episodes, HBO Max will house new episodes from the shows next three seasons 24 hours after they debut on Comedy Central.

The company didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal with Viacom and “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Earlier this month, it was reported that “South Park’s” streaming rights were set to be sold between $450 million and $500 million. This price tag would be comparable to what Comcast paid to license “The Office” for its upcoming streaming service Peacock and what AT&T paid for “Friends.” Netflix recently paid a similar amount for the rights to “Seinfeld.”

Adding legacy shows like “South Park,” “Friends,” “The Office” and “Seinfeld,” which have hundreds of episodes, has become a key strategy for streaming services.

Netflix was one of the first services to figure out that long-running popular shows have huge fan bases who will rewatch episodes again and again. Not only that, but new generations who missed the first run of these shows can get hooked as well. Just look at how “Friends” rose to popularity again in the last few years after more than a decade off the air.

“The Office,” which will leave Netflix before arriving on Peacock, was the number one most-watched show on Netflix in 2018.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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