Comedy Central will keep exclusive cable rights to The Office through 2021. Parks will on Comedy Central through 2024. The pacts come two months after Viacom secured cable rights to Seinfeld.
The news is the latest testament to the enduring power of vintage content to power TV networks and streaming services. The Office has been among the most viewed shows on Netflix, as was the case with an even older show, Friends, which is headed to HBO Max after its 2020 launch.
The Office and Parks, which aired back to back during their original linear runs on NBC, are both headed to Peacock, the forthcoming NBCU streaming service. NBCU shelled out more than $500 million to have The Office on Peacock by January 2021, a few months after it launched in April 2020. It also paid a nine-figure sum to have Parks ready for streaming at launch next April.
“Keeping the exclusive rights to The Office through 2021 is a coup for Comedy Central and Viacom,” said Tanya Giles, GM of Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land. “Since acquiring it, we’ve reinvigorated the franchise on linear, drawing big audiences throughout our full day schedule. It’s also been a key lead-in to help drive viewers to our own original, acclaimed comedies. We’re so excited to keep it on our air that we wouldn’t even trade it for an iPod.”
For Viacom, the deal was closed by Barbara Zaneri, EVP, Viacom Program Acquisitions Group.
Financial terms were not disclosed.