Expect to see a lot more Simpsons college courses and supercuts in the near future. The 500+ episode catalogue of the longest-running American sitcom and primetime, scripted television series will soon be available to stream from a website near you.
Fox’s burgeoning cable television channel and FX spinoff FXX has inked what’s reported to be a massive nine-figure deal with its parent company 20th Century Fox TV. The terms will make full seasons of The Simpsons catalog available online and give the TV channel syndication rights to the show. By mid-to-late 2014, episodes from the past 25 seasons of The Simpsons will be available for VOD on an FXX destination site and by way of a soon-to-be-released FXNOW mobile app.
You can catch up on a few episodes of the The Simpsons’ current season on TheSimpsons.com and see select clips on Hulu (including one embedded in the site’s 404 message), but this deal is the first time ever viewers will have an opportunity to watch previous episodes in a streaming, on-demand environment. And it’s going to be made possible only four to five years after The Simpsons’ contemporaries like South Park and The Daily Show launched their own destination sites with all episodes made available for VOD viewing.
I’m not sure why it’s taken Simpsons‘ creator Matt Groening and all the stakeholders at Fox so long to make a deal like this possible, but I have a hunch.