This might just be a more promising partnership than Bert and Ernie’s: Elmo and the gang have just signed to HBO, and Sesame Street is paved with the promise of “almost twice as much new content.”
Muppet puns aside, on Thursday, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind iconic children’s show, Sesame Street, released a statement detailing its just-announced five-year partnership with HBO. The merger spells success for both companies; HBO now has exclusive access to America’s most beloved kids’ show, and Sesame Street gets increased funding and the incentive to produce nearly twice as much content, according to the official press release on Sesame Workshop’s website.
Beginning this fall, Sesame Street will be signed to HBO and its many subdivisions – HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO On Demand – and will begin releasing new episodes straight to these channels. Their contract includes the stipulation that PBS, Sesame Street’s home network for the past 45 years, has rights to air new episodes of the show nine months after their release to HBO.
The merger includes the promise of a higher volume of Sesame Street episodes over the next five seasons, as well as a brand-new “Sesame Street Muppet spinoff series” and a “new original educational series for children” joining the ranks of other Sesame Street spinoffs, according to the August 13 press release.
Additionally, as part of HBO’s deal with Sesame Workshop, archived episodes of the show will be removed from online streaming services including Amazon and Netflix, as part of HBO’s longstanding refusal to partner with the services in favor of their own online platform, HBO NOW.
Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, President of HBO Programming, are definitely fortunate to have snapped up the rights to the show, especially in today’s fiercely competitive online streaming market for kids’ shows.
“We are absolutely thrilled to help secure the future of Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop’s mission for the nation’s kids and families,” Plepler and Lombardo told Sesame Workshop. “We are delighted to be a home for this extraordinary show, helping Sesame Street expand and build its franchise.”