South Park fans rejoice (“Kenny” to live online forever).
Following a successful experiment with “The Daily Show”, MTV Networks will make every episode of “South Park” available free online sometime next year, as part of the company’s wider distribution strategy “to reach consumers everywhere” (see the Reuters report).
The lesson learnt by MTV Networks subsidary, Comedy Central, when it made the entire archive of “The Daily Show” available for streaming online, is that Internet TV viewing can lead to more traditional television viewing. In other words, The Daily Show’s television viewing figures are up not down, even though fans are able get an unlimited fix via the show’s own website.
“One does not diminish the other by any stretch of the imagination. That is kind of our hat trick,” MTV Networks Chairman and Chief Executive, Judy McGrath, told attendees gathered at the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.
Even more encouraging is that other MTV Networks content could follow. The company has a rich 20-year old back catalog from channels MTV and VH1 that includes “all kinds of things from music and popular culture,” said McGrath.
One question that remains unanswered is whether the South Park archives will use geo-blocking, meaning that only users in the U.S. will have access. This is the case with almost all of the U.S. television networks’ Internet TV offerings, but surprisingly not true of The Daily Show where access is available here in the UK too, and presumably, the rest of the world.