Comedy Central favorite South Park is changing up the way it distributes its online catalog. Drastically.
Up until yesterday, almost every back episode of South Park was hosted on the show’s personal website, SouthParkStudios.com.
But now, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have struck a distribution deal with Hulu Plus.
Starting Saturday, July 12, the entire “South Park” library — 244 episodes in all — will be available for free on Hulu, and will continue to be free on SouthParkStudios.com (and SouthPark.cc.com) until Sept. 24. At that point, both Hulu and SouthParkStudios.com will have day-after-air access to new episodes from season 18. In addition, each of the sites will offer a revolving selection of 30 free episodes at any given time.
There are positive and negatives to this. Episodes will be online almost immediately after airing. Previously, new South Park episodes weren’t available for some time after they debuted.
Come September, though, a once free, massive library will now cost $7.99 a month to access. It is, of course, a cash bonanza for Parker and Stone.
The duo, together with Comedy Central, evidently concluded that an SVOD licensing agreement would be a more lucrative way to monetize the older episodes.
Terms were not disclosed.