Why those classic MST3K episodes you miss might finally be streaming soon

A new streaming deal means we might see even more of the Satellite of Love online in the future.

Nearly 200 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 were produced for various channels between 1988 and 1999, and though you can very likely find every single one of them if you're willing to search the less scrupulous corners of the web, getting the complete run legally on home video has always been a rather difficult task. Of the 198 episodes of the series, 131 have made it to various video releases over the years, and only 80 are available to stream via services like iTunes, Google Play, Hulu and Netflix (though the latter two have a rather limited selection of the 80 episodes).

If you're new to the series, 80 episodes is a lot to get through, but what if you're one of those fans who's memorized every single gag from Pod People and The Killer Shrews? What if you're longing for the complete series at your fingertips? Well, it's not happening yet, but a new deal with Vimeo might change that very soon. 

The online video service -- until recently perhaps best known as the launching pad for a million indie short films -- announced yesterday that it's acquired streaming rights for all 80 MST3K episodes that were already available for you to stream elsewhere. The entire 80-episode bundle is available to purchase on the site for $300, and individual episodes are available to rent for $2.99 or to buy for $9.99. Now, if you already know those episodes chapter and verse, or you've already got access to them via another service, that's certainly not big news. What is big is that Vimeo's already launched efforts to get as many additional episodes of MST3K as possible to stream exclusively on their site. 

See, because every episode of the series hinges on the main characters watching a film or films that they'll then rip apart with gags, the rights have to be obtained not just for the original MST3K content, but for all the films Joel, Mike, Tom, Crow and the gang watched over the years. That can be tricky business, but Vimeo says it's already hoping to get an additional dozen episodes streaming within a year, and who knows how many they might be able to liberate after that. 

So, while you might not be turning to Vimeo for your MST3K fix just yet, keep an eye on them. By this time next year, they could give you those precious episodes you've been missing.

(Via The AV Club)

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