Running for 50 years, Sesame Street has captured the audience through 4,500 episodes and over 200 home videos. The show released in 1969 as a ground-breaking series for kids to provide preliminary knowledge over the television platform. It has successfully attracted over 150 million viewers from all across the globe and has become one of the biggest franchises in the world of media. The show features famous muppets like Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster. It aims at educating the children by grabbing their attention with all the wonderful colours and fascinating characters. Each episode of the show has been curated in an educative as well as entertaining way so that the kids will be tuning in to the show daily.
Since the year 2015, HBO began airing the episodes of the show which enabled the workshop to produce more episodes and create a spinoff series called the Sesame Street Muppets. Tim Ouillette of the College of Arts, Media, and Design at Northeastern University says that this shift might be able to affect the popularity of the show and consequently increase production. Alongside the TV shows, Sesame Street has opened up free educative shows specially curated for the underprivileged or low-income children. The Sesame Street franchise now includes books, merchandise, and international expansion. Ouillette, while explaining the benefits of the show partnering with HBO, says, “A key to that supremacy is children marketing. More and more kids are discovering Sesame Street through on-demand platforms and I think this move is solely to bolster their streaming service.”
Ouillette sees this move as a possible tactic of HBO to commence a competition between other streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. He says, “I don’t think that HBO is necessarily picking up Sesame Street out of the kindness of their heart or because they want to help educate children of lower socioeconomic status. At some point, HBO Go subscribers will influence the content of Sesame Street, I am just not sure if it would be good or bad for the educational content.”