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South Park Sets Half-Billion Dollar Price Tag As Streaming War Heats Up

South Park

Another battle on the front-line of the massive multi-billion-dollar streaming wars has just been won: The victor is WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. The loser is Disney’s Hulu, and the trophy was an animated satire whose streaming rights are worth half a billion dollars.  As of June 2020, Comedy Central’s “South Park” will move from Hulu to HBO Max, which itself debuts only in May next year, in a deal valued at $450 million to $550 million thanks to a heated bidding war. 

And that huge price tag is just for domestic streaming rights, not global, which is why Netflix reportedly dropped out of the rate earlier on. 

HBO Max now has the rights to stream all 23 seasons of South Park, plus three new seasons. The new seasons won’t be exclusive to HBO Max, though. First, they’ll air on Viacom’s Comedy Central, and 24 hours later on HBO Max. 

"South Park is unequivocally among the best — setting the satirical gold standard, with a consistent finger on the comedy pulse,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president at TBS, TNT and truTV, said in a statement. "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, developed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, debuted all the way back in 1997, and it’s still going strong. Now, it’s a microcosm defining just how much these streaming wars are going to cost. 

Related: The Dying Coal Industry Claims Another Victim

It’s already costing Netflix dearly--and it used to own this market. The increasing competition means that it’s going to have to break the bank to come out with tons of new original content in order to keep Disney, AT&T, HBO Max, Amazon, NBCUniversal and Apple at bay. That’s going to significantly reflect on the bottom line, and shareholders will definitely be paying attention.

The Streaming Battle Ground, From Cheapest to Priciest

#1 Apple TV+ (launching November 1st)

Price: $4.99/month (one year free with purchase of new Apple device)

Notabe Content: “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell; and Oprah documentaries

#2 Disney+ (launching November 12th)
Price: $6.99/month or $12.99 bundled with ESPN+ and commercial-supported Hulu
Notable Content: Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar films, Disney animated classics and documentaries from National Geographic, The Simpsons.

#3 HBO Max (launching May 2020)
Price: $14.99/month
Notable Content: South Park, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, “Sesame Street”, Warner Bros.’ films, The Criterion Collection, Turner Classic Movies, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The Big Bang Theory,” “Friends”, and original films. 

#4 Hulu (owned by Disney)
Price: $11.99/month without ads, $5.99/month with ads
Notable Content: “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Dropout,” Marvel’s “Ghost Rider” and “Helstrom.”

#5 Netflix
Price: $8.99/month (basic); $12.99/month (standard); $15.99/month (premium)
Notable Content: “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “The Umbrella Academy,” “Always Be My Maybe”, Oscar-winning “Roma,” “Seinfeld”.

#6 Peacock from NBCUniversal (launching April 2020)
Price: No one knows yet
Content: “The Office” (which they nabbed from Netflix), “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Cheers,” “Frasier”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, SNL, “Saved by the Bell”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “Fast & Furious”, “Jaws” and “Back to the Future.” 

#7 Amazon Prime Video
Price: Comes with Amazon Prime membership for $8.99/month if paid annually, or $12.99/month if paid monthly.
Notable Content: “Jack Ryan,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Lord of the Rings”.

#8 CBS All Access
Price: $5.99/month with commercials; $9.99/month without commercials
Content: “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Twilight Zone”, “The Stand.”

By Michael Scott for Safehaven.com 

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