HBO Will Get 9-Month Exclusive Window On New Sesame Street Episodes

In an attempt to make its cable and streaming services more appealing to families, HBO has struck a five-year deal with the folks at Sesame Workshop that will give the premium cable channel a 9-month exclusive window on new Sesame Street episodes.

Sesame Workshop says the partnership will allow the company to double its content output, but at the expense of having to hold back its new programming from PBS for nine months after it first appears on HBO.

Meanwhile, HBO can now market to parents as the exclusive home of new Sesame Street content. This could help the network sell subscriptions to its pay-TV service and its standalone HBO Now online streaming service, which has primarily been marketed as a means of getting more mature content like Game of Thrones and True Detective (or at least the first season of that show).

Now, in addition to the new content, which is expected to launch later this year, HBO will gain access to a library of 150 older Sesame Street episodes, and around 50 total archive episodes of two other shows, Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company.

The deal will last for five seasons of the long-running educational show for kids. It will also include a currently unnamed “Sesame Street Muppet” spinoff series, along with a new original educational series for children.

“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.”