When in doubt, copy Walt Disney. ViacomCBS said on Thursday it had signed a deal with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to create 14 movies exclusively for its streaming service Paramount+.
The move is right out of the Marvel playbook.
ViacomCBS cable network Comedy Central has been the long-time home of the four foul-mouthed boys. Extending the franchise is one way for Paramount+ to boost the more than 40 million subscribers it already has worldwide.
Spinning out new characters has done wonders for Disney+. Marvel’s Loki and Star Wars television spinoff The Mandalorian helped boost the subscriber base for Magic Kingdom’s flagship service to more than 100 million.
ViacomCBS paid Parker and Stone around US$900 million, according to Bloomberg, for a package that also includes more seasons for Comedy Central through 2027.
That’s nearly double what AT&T’s HBO paid for South Park streaming rights in 2018. But as subscriber growth slows for the industry, ViacomCBS boss Bob Bakish may find the price is worth paying.