It is unusual for a new cable network to land a major syndication deal, especially for a show that technically cannot be syndicated to cable. It is also unusual for a new cable network to make history with the biggest off-network deal in history. Both of those things came together as a brand new network has landed an exclusive cable broadcast and Video-On-Demand and streaming deal for The Simpsons.
The deal, valued between $750 million and $1 billion, will bring the longest running comedy program in television history to the newest addition to the Fox family, FXX. Starting in August 2014, FXX will begin airing episodes from the beginning, in order. That order will be usurped when Season 26 begins to air on Fox in September.
While exact details are not known, it is estimated that FXX will be paying $1.25 million per week to run The Simpsons on television as well as through streaming services. This deal grants full access to the entirety of the series, including new episodes immediately. Normally, deals like this have a 5+ week rolling delay, such as Family Guy and American Dad on Adult Swim. This deal will include all episodes at all times. The first streaming service that FXX will make the show available through will be FXNOW, the upcoming service from FX Networks.
This is a win for everyone involved. Obviously, 21st Century Fox, producers of the show, have the ability to profit off of the licensing fees, with an added bonus of gaining a larger audience for the show. FXX, on the other hand, has the ability to get a huge audience for the new network, using a well known, well loved television program, whose audience ranges from teenagers to their parents.