The Simpsons is close to a renewal for Seasons 31 and 32 with a reduced license fee
Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox is complicating The Simpsons' future. According to Variety, the terms of the impending two-season renewal, "which includes a licensing fee that’s slightly reduced from what the network paid under the last renewal, reflect the reality of the shifting economics around the show." As Variety's Daniel Holloway explains, “The Simpsons has traditionally been a loss leader for Fox Broadcasting. The network sheds money on a per-episode basis — with costs increasing over the years. But those losses have been more than offset by the money the show makes for the studio. When corporate sibling FX Networks secured cable and streaming syndication rights for the show in a 2013 deal valued at the time at as much as $750 million, the back end for 20th increased dramatically. But after the Disney deal is complete, FBC and 20th Century Fox will no longer share a balance sheet." He adds that Disney is mulling potential changes to boot profits from The Simpsons, including breaking the show's episodes "into three batches that would rotate among multiple licensees. Such a strategy could attract more money on a per-episode basis than could be drawn from a single deal partner. Disney also could opt to forgo an outside deal and instead use The Simpsons as a platform on which to build out Disney Plus or Hulu in much the same way that FX used it to establish then-nascent offshoot FXX."
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