Twenty-two years ago today, the monolith known as South Park premiered for Comedy Central. The show has gone on to immeasurable success receiving multiple Emmys, millions in merchandising revenue, and have helped put creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on the map of celebrity status. Today will also be known as the day in which after more than ten years of being divorced, media conglomerates CBS and Viacom would merge to what is now known as ViacomCBS.
Today, if you wanted to, you could watch any of the company’s adult animation offerings on the AVOD streaming service Pluto TV with incredible offerings like Beavis and Butthead, Daria, you name it and it’s on there. The real question moving forward will be the future of South Park. The series is currently in the midst of a very healthy streaming rights deal with the now Disney-owned Hulu and both Matt Stone and Trey Parker have noted that they have no intention of stopping South Park until they are canceled. So, when the streaming rights for South Park expire for Hulu, what will ViacomCBS do? Will the series end up on CBS All Access? Do they shop the impressive library of episodes to competing tech-powered streaming services that will pay boatloads to the newly formed entity? Does ViacomCBS intend to continue shopping it’s intellectual properties to competing streaming services or will CBS All Access be a major player for pickups?
With South Park, CBS All Access could effectively land the biggest animated free agent of all-time. The streaming service could use some eyeballs to attract to both Star Trek: Lower Decks as well as any other intellectual property the company is looking to launch over the next several years, a goal that CBS has talked about for a long time. Or, CBSViacom could choose to shop the off-network rights of South Park to the highest bidder and continue to make some cash with it’s endeavors with MTV Studios that could bring in additional fortunes for years to come.