Sesame Street Partners with HBO in 5-Year Deal

New season of Sesame Street will premiere on HBO, Sesame Workshop has announced.

The nonprofit educational organization is partnering with the premium cable network to bring the next five seasons of the show to television audiences and streaming services including HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and HBO NOW. According to the deal, they will now be able to produce "almost twice as much new content" as previous seasons of Sesame Street. Fear not PBS fans, as the show will still be available on the network, free of charge, after a nine-month window of exclusivity.

“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.”

HBO will also produce a new Sesame Street Muppet spin-off series and a new original educational series for children. They, along with the new episodes of Sesame Street will begin airing as early as late fall 2015. In addition, HBO has also licensed over 150 previous episodes of Sesame Street and 50 episodes of Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company for syndication.

“We are absolutely thrilled to help secure the future of Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop’s mission for the nation’s kids and families,” said 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.”

“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,” commented Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street. “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.”