A bidding tussle for domestic streaming rights to Comedy Central’s long-running, irreverent animated series “South Park” may result in a deal as large as $500 million for cable parent Viacom and show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Bloomberg first reported news of the impending deal, pointing to a closing date as soon as this weekend and a bidder pool that includes up to six companies. A source familiar with the situation, however, says that the deal may not close quite that fast.
Of those vying for the animated series, Netflix is no longer in the mix, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“South Park,” which is currently available online on Disney-owned streaming platform Hulu, premiered in 1997 and was recently renewed for three more seasons through Season 26. Season 23 of the longest-running cable series premiered on Sept. 25 on Comedy Central.
Elbows are being sharpened in the fight for coveted reruns as streaming services look to bulk up their content libraries and appeal to subscribers that are faced with an ever-increasing array of direct-to-consumer entertainment choices. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will soon be joined by Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus in November and HBO Max and Quibi in the spring. NBCUniversal is set to roll out its own streamer, Peacock, in 2021. Netflix last month landed the global streaming rights to “Seinfeld,” while HBO Max famously nabbed the domestic streaming rights to “Friends,” and Peacock has claimed streaming ownership over “The Office.”