After bidding approached the top of the market, HBO Max has claimed exclsuive domestic streaming rights to the South Park vault starting in June of 2020, and will stream three new upcoming season in a shared deal with Viacom.
Comedy Central, the animated show’s home for its first 23 seasons, will continue to air the upcoming new seasons and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max will stream episodes 24 hours after their linear premiere.
The announcement was made Tuesday during WarnerMedia’s investor day showcasing HBO Max, its subscription streaming offering that will launch next May.
Streaming rivals such as Hulu (which has had a long-term deal already with South Park) and CBS had been among the platforms chasing the show. Netflix opted to bow out early in the bidding.
South Park has often been a lighting-rod show, spurring cultural conversation, and it entered the spotlight again earlier this month after an episode about China-U.S. relations drew strong rebukes. It stayed in the headlines by poking not only the Chinese government but also U.S. entities like Disney and the NBA.
The multi-year licensing deal was completed with South Park Digital Studios, a joint venture between Viacom and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
“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. “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.”
South Park will anchor HBO Max’s young adult animation offering that will also include Adult Swim series such as cultural phenomenon The Boondocks, Robot Chicken and more; Crunchyroll’s anime programming; and exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Studio Ghibli, Japan’s Oscar-winning animation house.