Sesame Street turns exclusive; Airs on HBO Starting this Fall
Sesame Street is coming to HBO this fall. According to the announcement, HBO will air the next five seasons of the iconic children's show and can be streamed on HBO's partner stations and streaming outlets.
PBS has been the home of Sesame Street since it first started in 1969. The announcement of the show's transfer brings surprise and fear for some who have been used to viewing the show for free. PBS will still air old episodes of Sesame Street, but new episodes will be aired nine months after showing on HBO and partners.
The surprising decision can be thought of as HBO's move towards giving more child-friendly material to a network that is associated more for adult content.
HBO will air the show for nine months before being allowed to air on PBS. According to Gizmodo, producers claim that the agreement with HBO will let the show air twice as many shows without cost for PBS. However, HBO would also cut the air time from 1 hour to 30 minutes.
The partnership is certainly controversial since people have been used to seeing the show on public television and moving it to a paid one raises a lot of eyebrows.
PBS is a non-profit organization that aims to provide shows that will help children grow to become the best people they can be. The decision to take Sesame Street to a private network is to help provide much needed funding for PBS' mission, Jeffrey Dunn, Sesame Workshop CEO said.
The funds for producing Sesame Street come from licensing revenues plus a little from PBS. However, with the changes on how kids are viewing material nowadays, the show has struggled as the need to buy DVDs has declined. More than half of kids now prefer to view the show on demand than to watch on PBS.