It hasn’t been hard for people to watch the cult favorite show South Park (possibly the best show on television) online. Sites like Allsp (All South Park) have had the entire catalog available for some time. And episodes are always available on BitTorrent immediately after broadcast.
Instead of fighting BitTorrent and sites like Allsp, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are simply going to try to make them irrelevant by offering something better. Along with Comedy Central, they’ve expanded South Park Studios, where viewers can stream any episode of South Park from the show’s twelve seasons. The joint venture was announced last year, but added whole episode viewing today.
The main benefits: quality is significantly better than the clips on Allsp, and are searchable. Of course, there’s also no question about copyright infringement when you watch shows on the sanctioned site. The downside is that the episodes are not embeddable (although clips like the one above are), and there are ads includes in the streams.
Revenues from the joint venture are being split 50/50 between Comedy Central and Stone/Parker.
The viewing experience is very similar to Hulu. But the fact that the entire catalog of episodes is available makes the site much more attractive. Hulu only shows the last few episodes of any particular show, so new viewers are unable to start from the beginning. If Hulu wants to be the long term default library for online television, they need to work out licensing deals that allow them to upload all historical shows, too.