Comedy Central’s “South Park” will have a new home online as of June 2020. HBO Max, the WarnerMedia-backed direct-to-consumer service that debuts in May, has won the battle for exclusive streaming rights in the U.S. to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated satire, which is currently hosted on Disney-owned Hulu.
The deal is valued at $500 million to $550 million, a source familiar with matter tells Variety.
South Park Digital Studios, a joint venture between Viacom, Parker and Stone, inked the multi-year licensing deal, which covers all 23 seasons plus three new seasons, which will appear on HBO Max 24 hours after the episode first airs on Viacom’s Comedy Central.
Reports of a bidding war for the show’s U.S. streaming rights surfaced earlier in the month, with Bloomberg reporting a possible valuation of $450 million to $500 million. By mid-October, known spender Netflix had already dropped out of the race for “South Park,” Variety had learned. A person familiar with the discussions said that Netflix had sought global, not just domestic, rights for the series.
“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, TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement. “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.”
The series will serve as the anchor to HBO Max’s young adult animation slate, according to WarnerMedia, a portfolio that will include Adult Swim shows, anime from Crunchyroll, exclusive domestic streaming rights to Studio Ghibli films such as “Spirited Away,” and other programs. The streaming service spans a broad range of media brands, including HBO, Warner Bros., CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, New Line, and other networks and properties.