After years of encouraging their fans to share “South Park,” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have set up a viable alternative to the mass YouTube-based distribution of popular clips from the hit show: They’re just going to give the whole thing away on SouthParkStudios.com.
“We got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time, so we gave ourselves a legal alternative,” the duo quipped in a statement.
The site offers every “South Park” episode including the current one, which stays live for a week after its airdate and then goes dark for the rest of the month, at which point it is added to the site’s back catalog.
The streaming episodes run without ad breaks, but a spokeswoman for Comedy Central said the full episodes would eventually include advertising. SouthParkStudios.com also hosts embeddable clips. Launch sponsors for the venture are Toyota and Virgin.
It’s a good time for Parker and Stone to distance themselves from the YouTube community given Comedy Central parent Viacom’s protracted lawsuit against the Web-based video distrib, which features clips from the show.
Comedy Central said the site has already generated more than 3 million page visitors and more than 1 million streams of full episodes since it debuted with no fanfare last week.