HBO has struck a deal with the creators of Sesame Street to air iconic children’s show for its next five seasons.
Sesame Street has been the go-to program for teaching children the alphabet, numbers, and commonly accepted morality since 1969. Since then, the children’s program has appeared on the publicly funded PBS, but will now move to premium cable channel HBO. PBS has experimented with moving the time slot Sesame Street is in and shortening the show to a half an hour, and now it is clear as to why. Sesame Street will move permanently to HBO for the next five seasons. PBS will be allowed to continue to air the show for nine months after the move, but Sesame Street will begin airing on HBO starting this fall.
USA Today reports that Sesame Workshop CEO has offered comment on the deal.
“[The Deal] provides Sesame Workshop with the critical funding it needs to be able to continue production of Sesame Street and secure its nonprofit mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder; it gives HBO exclusive pay cable and SVOD access to the nation’s most important and historic educational programming; and it allows Sesame Street to continue to air on PBS and reach all children, as it has for the past 45 years.”
The deal with HBO provides the means for the ability to produce twice as much Sesame Street content, and burden PBS with no cost to air the show while it stays on the publicly-funded network, according to Gizmodo. Some of the content added will possibly include spin-offs of some of the more popular residents of Sesame Street. The reason for the move is explained by the co-founder of Sesame Street, Joan Ganz-Cooney.
“Over the past decade, both the way in which children are consuming video and the economics of the children’s television production business have changed dramatically. In order to fund our nonprofit mission with a sustainable business model, Sesame Workshop must recognize these changes and adapt to the times.”
With the advent of internet streaming services, many people are stepping away from traditional cable packages and joining the “cord-cutter” movement, where instead of buying cable packages, they rely on streaming services such as HBO Go, Hulu, and Netflix.
The makers of Sesame Street still wish to provide non-profit children’s educational entertainment to those people, and feel that bringing the show to HBO is the best way to do that.
[Image Courtesy of Children’s Television Workshop / Getty Images]