Sohu to stream The Simpsons in China

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Fox Television Distribution has struck a deal with China’s Sohu Video to stream The Simpsons, which it describes as the first official licensing deal for the series in China.

The multi-year deal includes the latest season of The Simpsons, which is scheduled to start airing on Fox on September 28.

“The introduction of The Simpsons, a household name in the US, will further enrich our users’ choice of the best American content when they come to our platform,” said Sohu chairman and CEO Charles Zhang.

The Simpsons’ executive producer Al Jean quipped: “Woo hoo! Now we can reveal Springfield is actually in Guangdong province.”

The deal for the popular US TV series comes at a time when Chinese regulators are clamping down on the relatively freewheeling online video sector (see separate story).

Sohu Video is a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed portal Sohu, which has acquired a large number of US TV shows including Saturday Night Live, Ellen and House Of Cards. Rumours abounded earlier this year that Sohu and Tencent would merge their video operations, after merging their search engines (Sohu’s Sogou and Tencent’s Soso) last year.