If you haven’t heard by now Sesame Street is going cable. The nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop that produces the children’s television show has struck a deal with HBO according to their most recent press release. The next five seasons of Sesame Street will stream and air on the cable network starting this fall. According to their representatives, they will produce 35 new episodes each year as compared to their now 18 episodes.
My first thought of course, what about free television that reaches millions of Americans? And in case you are wondering, all new episodes will also be made available to PBS and its member stations after the first window on cable. Well what a relief!! That’s good news for the some 313 million Americans who currently do not have cable service. In fact, only 7.6 million households according to a new report by Experian Marketing Services currently have access to cable. So we might have to wait a little bit to see the new programming but I’m sure glad Sesame Street considered the families and the people who this impacts the most.
Let’s be honest, I’m sure this business change has a lot to do with the bottom line. I mean come on, you can see your favorite celebrity at any point on Sesame Street, and if you’re a celebrity it becomes a goal to get an invite to the ever popular TV show. Until I had my daughter, I didn’t realize how important this programming is with toddlers and kids. They have the ability to shape and motivate healthy educational learning. I would hate to think that money and social popularity is the sole driven factor behind this deal.
I have hope that they are driven by their own mission, to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. In our house, we will continue to support the Public Broadcasting Service and we look forward to seeing Elmo and all his friends on the street!