UK fans of long-running animated comedy series South Park are now able to watch the show online through official means, as a new subscription-based video on-demand service has been launched days after the completion of the ‘first half’ of season 16.
In a deal made between South Park Digital Studios (co-owned by show creators Trey Parker & Matt Stone and host network Comedy Central (a subsidiary of Viacom)), the launch has been made for ‘South Park On Demand’, available on the South Park Studios (UK) website.
The launch sees the online offering feature a starter selection of the 50 ‘funniest episodes’ as voted by fans on the website, with the line-up including classic episodes such as ‘Casa Bonita’, ‘Scott Tenorman Must Die’, ‘The Death of Eric Cartman’, ‘Ginger Kids’, and episode trilogy ‘Imaginationland’.
However, for fans that know that the show’s archive stretches past 50 episodes (with the current total at 230) and that their personal favourite is not featured, the on-demand service will be updated monthly based on user suggestions. In addition, South Park On Demand will be showing all 7 episodes from ‘season 16A’ to bring the total to 57 for the summer, through to the show coming back in late September (early October for UK viewers) when the newer episodes will most likely be offered as the new ‘latest content’.
The unique service will be available to customers at rates of £2 (for full access to the featured content for 24 hours) and £3 (for the same privileges for a week).
Viacom International’s SVP of digital content Philip O’Ferrall said of the release: “South Park has been on our TV screens and pushing boundaries since the late ’90s. We are launching the South Park On Demand in response to the huge demand that we have experienced on our sites for full-length episodes of this iconic show. This online service extends our 360 strategy around South Park content, increases engagement with the brand and enables us to make our show more available to fans than ever before.”
Comedy Central UK’s ‘vice-president of business development’ Tony Crowe added: “We know that the South Park audience are always connected and using multiple platforms to access content. We developed South Park On Demand to provide the easiest way for fans to instantly access what they are looking for. We also wanted to give fans the opportunity to influence which episodes they want to be included every month. They can vote for their favourites via the contact page to ensure the content that they want is only a click away.”
In addition to the new episodes later on in the year and the current new streaming service, fans of South Park could also have further reason to celebrate with the planned release of South Park: The Game (an RPG created in the style of the cartoon) scheduled for release by the end of 2012, though developers THQ and Obsidian have recently claimed that they are backing Parker & Stone (who are reportedly heavily involved in the development process) on their desire to not release the game until a ‘perfect’ representation of the game’s universe is completed.
However, with the pair’s renowned ability to turn over content quickly to meet project deadlines (especially in the week-long process of creating new episodes from start-to-finish), that release date could be anywhere either side of the rumoured Q4 2012 time. So while fans will be unsure on when they will be able to ‘play the show’, there will at least be the option to just ‘watch’ it on the official website for the time being…