After ten years of writing and producing Comedy Central’s top-rated show—and arguably creating a cultural phenomenon—South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone have really hit pay dirt.
The duo has inked a three-year contract extension that includes a joint venture with Comedy giving Parker and Stone a 50% stake in digital-ad revenue for South Park.
The agreement calls for three additional, 14-episode seasons, which will keep fresh SouthPark installments on Comedy Central through 2011. The current deal was set to expire at the end of 2008.
But more significantly, the deal calls for the creation of a new digital arm, South Park Digital Studios, designed to amortize the brand across the Viacom-owned MTV Networks’ various digital platforms, as well as create new animated content for the web. It's an unprecedented profit-sharing agreement for content creators.
“This extension and the formation of the joint venture are the beginnings of a new era for South Park and Comedy Central and a natural evolution of our long-term and prosperous relationship with Trey and Matt," Doug Herzog, president, MTV Networks' Entertainment Group, said in a statement. "With the new partnership in South Park Digital Studios and the creation of the digital animation studio, we have a tremendous opportunity to truly maximize the potential of the franchise and the incredible creative talents of Matt and Trey across every imaginable platform."
But their expanded domain does not mean that Parker and Stone will be less involved in the television show. The duo will continue to write, direct and edit all of the series’ episodes.
Said Stone: "Three more years of South Park will give us the opportunity to offend that many more people. And since Trey and I are in charge of the digital side of South Park, we can offend people on their cell phones, game consoles, and computers too. It's all very exciting for us."