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HBO strikes five-season Sesame Street deal

HBO and Sesame Workshop have agreed a five-season deal for iconic kids series Sesame Street.

The deal means the show will be on the HBO linear channel, its TV everywhere service HBO Go, and SVOD offering HBO Now, for at least five years.

Episodes of Sesame Street will debut on the premium cable net and then hit publicly-funded PBS in a second window, nine months later.

Sesame Workshop said the HBO deal will allow it to make twice as much Sesame Street content and also to provide the series to PBS free of charge.

“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.”

The HBO-Sesame agreement also covers a Sesame Street Muppets spin-off series, although few details are currently available, and HBO has taken 150 classic episodes of Sesame Street.

The new episodes will start on HBO later this year. HBO has international sales rights and will handle global distribution of the new series.

Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, said in a statement: “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.”