Sesame Workshop has signed a new partnership with HBO that will make the next five seasons of Sesame Street available on HBO, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and HBO NOW.
The deal allows Sesame to produce almost twice as much new content as previous seasons, and for the first time ever, make the show available free of charge to PBS and its member stations after a nine-month window.
“Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s CEO.
“It 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.”
Sesame Workshop will also produce a Sesame Street Muppet spin-off series, as well as develop a new original educational series for children.
HBO has also licensed over 150 library episodes of Sesame Street.
The new episodes of Sesame Street will begin airing as early as later this year and HBO will be the exclusive, first-run subscription television distribution partner for Sesame Street and the new series.
“We are absolutely thrilled to help secure the future of Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop’s mission for the nation’s kids and families,” added Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming.
“Home Box Office is committed to bringing the most groundbreaking and creative shows to its audience. Sesame Street is the most important preschool education program in the history of television. We are delighted to be a home for this extraordinary show, helping Sesame Street expand and build its franchise.”
Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street, said: “I’ve long admired the creative work of HBO and can’t think of a better partner to continue the quality of Sesame Street’s programming,”
“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 recognise these changes and adapt to the times.”
In addition to Sesame Street, HBO will also license approximately 50 past episodes of Pinky Dinky Doo, an animated series for preschoolers that focuses on early literacy, and The Electric Company from Sesame Workshop.