FXX makes deal for exclusive cable and VOD rights to 'The Simpsons'
Come August of next year, old episodes of the long-running series will air on FX off-shoot
The FX off-shoot announced this morning that "The Simpsons," the longest-running scripted show in television history and winner of 28 Emmy Awards, will start airing on the network in August 2014. On demand and streaming rights to old episodes are also a part of the deal, which means that the soon-to-be launched FXNOW app will be the only mobile way to watch old "Simpsons" episodes come August of next year (current season episodes are not included in this deal).
Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the press release discusses a "vigorous bidding war which resulted in what is believed to be the biggest off-network deal ever." Presumably part of the reason for the size of the deal is the number of episodes included – 24 seasons and 530 episodes are going to be available to FXX when the deal starts, and the entirety of the 25th season, the season currently airing on FOX, will be available to the cable network when the 26th season begins on the broadcast network.
It is not immediately apparent whether online and mobile viewing will, once the deal begins, mean that viewers will instantly have access to all 530 episodes or if FXX will opt to only have a select number of seasons available at one time.
Further, it should be noted, that while the deal includes cable, VOD, and non-linear rights, it does not include syndication on traditional broadcast stations. That is to say, if your local over-the-air station airs "Simpsons" episodes (generally before or after primetime), this new deal does not effect that.