Originally posted by Metdude:
BBC have always been stupid. They didn't start showing it until late 1996. Until then, those without Sky could only see the show by buying videos of the first two seasons and a couple of episodes from the third season. I bet most people don't even realise that the beeb are 4 years behind compared to Sky.
In the "UK TV Update" thread in General Discussion, sheep555 explained that this is due to a contractual clause in The Simpsons licensing agreement between Sky, the BBC, C4 and (presumably) FOX.
If you look at Sky One's ratings, it's all Simpsons for the top ten (especially now that Buffy has ended and Futurama is coming to an end). It's all the channel's got left, basically. So they protect it viciously, by insisting that the Beeb not show any episode less than a certain number of years after Sky have aired it.
To be honest, I don't really mind if BBC2 stops showing "The Simpsons" for a week in the middle of August, particularly if they're just showing S9/10 episodes. But then, I think I've been Simpsons-Saturated (TM) by Sky One.