‘South Park,’ ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ Moving Exclusively to Paramount+; Studio Ups Q4 Licensing/Other Revenue
February 15, 2022
Erstwhile ViacomCBS (i.e., Paramount) Feb. 15 announced that two major original properties, Comedy Central’s “South Park,” and Beavis and Butt Head” are moving exclusively to the Paramount+ streaming service.
“South Park,” which is now exclusively distributed via HBO Max through 2024, will move to the streamer in the U.S. in 2025, according to Chris McCarthy, Paramount’s chief content officer, who made the announcement on the ViacomCBS Investors Event. All 310 episodes of the “South Park” catalog will be made available on Paramount+ overseas beginning later this year. Additionally, “South Park” season 27 will begin rolling out on Paramount+ globally in 2024.
The 25th season of the venerable series currently airs on Comedy Central. Separately, the pending “Beavis and Butt-Head” movie has an official name. Beavis and Butthead Do the Universe is the first branded feature film since Beavis and Butthead Do America hit theaters in 1996. The brand’s 200 episodes also are heading to Paramount+.
Officially described as “perhaps the dumbest space movie ever made,” Do the Universe takes place in 1998, and finds the underachieving sophomoric heroes sentenced by a judge to detention in a Space Camp, where they end up — of course — on the Space Shuttle.
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“‘South Park’ and ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ are two of the most successful and widely known adult-animation IP in the history of the genre, and I am thrilled that Paramount+ will be their exclusive new SVOD home,” McCarthy said. “By expanding the universe of these franchises, we are unlocking significant value within ViacomCBS’s treasure chest of IP, and this is just the beginning.”
The company announced today that Paramount+ will make its debut in France as an exclusive bundle with CANAL+ Group, giving subscribers immediate access to French consumers through the country’s largest provider. Paramount+ will also be available on an a la carte and direct-to-consumer basis in the French market.
“We’re continuing to leverage our global footprint and long-standing relationships to expand Paramount+ into new markets with enormous potential quickly and economically,” said Tom Ryan, CEO of streaming.
With Paramount+ and SkyShowtime (which is co-owned by Comcast), the company will have streaming services available in more than 60 markets across the U.K., Latin America, Canada, Australia, South Korea, the Caribbean and all major markets in Europe by the end of this year. In 2023, the company will look to Asia, Africa and the Middle East to grow its streaming presence in every region of the world.
Meanwhile, Paramount announced it generated $787 million in fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2021) “licensing and other” revenue from its motion pictures, up 54% from revenue of $510 million in the prior year quarter. Revenue for the fiscal year increased 19% to $2.8 billion, from $2.4 billion last year.
Licensing and other revenue was driven by a higher volume of licensing, including to our owned streaming services and from the comparison against the impact in 2020 from Covid-related production shutdowns.
Paramount, like other studios, no longer calls out home entertainment sales of packaged and digital media separately. The segment is now included in the studio’s licensing business.
Finally, theatrical ticket sales topped $39 million in the quarter, compared with $4 million in the previous-year period. For the year, theatrical revenue increased 34% to $241 million, from $180 million in 2020.
Theatrical revenue included the fourth-quarter release of Clifford the Big Red Dog, and the third quarter release of Paw Patrol: The Movie, while the prior-year period was impacted by the closure or reduced capacity of movie theaters in response to COVID.