So far, the most heated battles for tv rerun streaming rights have centered around live-action shows (Friends, The Office, Seinfeld), but now animation is getting hot too. As many as six companies are currently bidding for exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Viacom’s South Park series.
The show’s large back catalog (South Park passed its 300th episode earlier this month) could fetch anywhere between $450 to $500 million, according to a Bloomberg report. The price would be a significant increase from the three-year $192 million dollar deal that the show signed with Hulu in 2015.
Reportedly, Netflix has dropped out of the bidding, but likely bidders include Warnermedia’s HBO Max, NBC’s Peacock, and Amazon. Hulu, which is now fully-controlled by the Walt Disney Company, is also in the mix, hoping to retain the show on its platform. On the other hand, Bloomberg suggests that Apple’s streaming service won’t bid on the rights due to wariness over “offending China, where it sells a lot of iPhones.” South Park was recently banned in that country.