FXX completes landmark The Simpson Syndication Deal. The fledgling FXX network has landed the first 24 seasons of Fox’s The Simpsons TV show, including VOD/non-linear rights. The longest running comedy in history may fetch the largest price tag in history, possibly coming in at $750 million or more. As we are in the age of the Internet and instantly viewing, this is “first [deal] to include full digital rights.” With 530 episodes (the first 24 seasons) as part of the deal (the episodes will begin airing on FXX in August of 2014) in addition to new seasons (once they stop airing on FOX), the deal has the potentially to reach $1 billion. This is especially true because by September 2015, the number of The Simpson episodes that FXX has at its disposal will swell to 574. From now on, when a new season begins on FOX, the previously ended season will become available to FXX. Who knew the previously closed deal for a 26th season of The Simpsons was a prelude to this monster of a business arrangement.
FX Networks COO Saftler reflected on the deal, calling it:
‘the longest negotiations that I am aware of for an off-network series’ [and that it]…took a month from the first offer to sealing a ‘landmark’ deal. ‘This is a historic deal for FXX and FX Networks and I don’t believe there will ever be another one like it,’ Saftler said.
The other people behind this unprecedented business deal:
In addition to Saftler, the deal was negotiated by FX Networks’ Chris Antola, Twentieth TV’s Greg Meidel, Steve MacDonald and Lori Bernstein.
On FXX’s thinking behind making this business deal:
the longest-running scripted series will serve as a back bone of another upstart Fox cable network, FXX. Given the benefits an asset like The Simpsons provides, FX went very aggressively after the property in an already competitive marketplace. “The Simpsons long ago crossed over from ‘brilliant award-winning comedy series’ to ‘full-fledged cultural phenomenon,’ and this landmark deal is a testament to its enduring power and relevance,” said 20th TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden.
The full VOD/non-linear rights are huge for the FX Network and will be used as a means to draw a large number of viewers to its soon to be released mobile app dubbed FXNOW. The app will “offer all seasons of The Simpsons that are available on FXX.”
With 530 episodes at the start of their air cycle (starting from the beginning), The Simpsons on FXX will have the air of a newly started TV show instead of a recycled show because of the sheer volume of the episodes present.
while a typical syndicated show that has produced 100 episodes is on a 5-week repeat cycle, meaning that the cable network goes through all of the episodes in 5 weeks after which it starts again from the pilot, it will be months and months before The Simpsons will have to repeat an episode on FXX, giving it a feel of original run.
The Simpson stars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Marcia Wallace, and Russi Taylor.
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