The longest running sitcom in television history sold its cable syndication rights today to FXX for close to $1 billion. FXX, a subsidiary of FX and parent company FOX, reportedly outbid five other major cable outlets, including TBS and Cartoon Network, making it the biggest cable syndication deal in history.
"The Simpsons" first became syndicated in 1993, showing only on local broadcast networks (anyone with a TV is sure to have seen a "Simpsons" rerun before the evening news). This marks the first time the show will be viewed on any cable network. Still saying so what? Well, the deal also includes exclusive online streaming rights for FXX's mobile viewing app, FXNow - meaning we won't see the show available on Netflix anytime soon.
FXX launched barely two months ago, on September 2nd, as a comedy offshoot for the already well-known FX network. The channel airs new episodes of popular shows "It's Always Sunny in Philadephia" and "The League," as well as syndicates of "Parks and Recreation" and "Arrested Development."
FXX is hoping the show will increase exposure for the fledging channel. "We see the move as an important step to helping buttress the new FXX network,” says Daniel Salmon, an analyst for BMO Capital Markets Corporation. "‘The Simpsons’ helps build the schedule, which should boost ad revenue once the show begins airing.” It doesn't hurt either when the boss is on board: FOX's CEO Gary Newman hails "The Simpsons" as "the greatest television asset of all time."
Fans may remember "The Simpsons" being in the headlines earlier this month when Marcia Wallace, the voice actress for Mrs. Krabappel, died at the age of 70. The show performed a tribute to the actress in their opening chalkboard gag on November 3rd.
You can expect to see all 530 episodes of "The Simpsons" on FXX beginning August 2014.
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