About a dozen episodes of 'MST3K' slated to be cleared for digital release in next year
A collection of 80 episodes of cult comedy series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” featuring a man and his robot sidekicks riffing on especially terrible B-movies and assorted shorts, is now available on Vimeo.
In addition, under Vimeo’s pact with Shout! Factory for “MST3K,” the online-video service has exclusive rights to any newly cleared episodes launching over the next year.
According to Vimeo, about a dozen new “MST3K” episodes are slated to become available within the next 12 months. Homevideo rights for the show are complicated by the fact that the segments include full-length films and clips owned by other studios, and to date only 80 of 198 total “MST3K” episodes have been made available for digital distribution.
Starting Wednesday, Vimeo is offering all 80 currently available feature-length episodes to purchase for $300 — a savings of $500. Individual titles will be $9.99 to purchase or $2.99 to rent. Those who purchase the collection in its entirety will also receive any newly distributed episodes between now and Sept. 17, 2016 (although those also will be available from Vimeo a la carte).
According to Shout! Factory, which has handled distribution of the series since 2008, select “MST3K” episodes are currently available on Netflix and Hulu. The 80 episodes are available on all major download-to-own services, including Apple’s iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video and Walmart’s Vudu.
“We are proud to bring one of television’s most beloved sci-fi comedy series, ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000,’ to Vimeo on Demand,” said Sam Toles, Vimeo’s VP of content acquisitions and business development.
“MST3K,” produced by Best Brains, launched in 1988. It ran on Comedy Central for six seasons, followed by a three-season run on Syfy (then known as Sci-Fi Channel) before going off the air in 1999. The show’s human host and robot pals sit trapped on board the Satellite of Love, cracking wise about the most outrageously unfortunate titles ever to come out of Hollywood.
New York-based Vimeo, founded in 2004, is a subsidiary of IAC. The online-video site has more than 30 million registered members and reaches a global monthly audience of over 170 million people.