'Sesame Street' moves to HBO: What will this mean for viewers?

The long-running children's public TV series is reportedly moving to the cable network. What caused this partnership and will it restrict viewing options for fans?

Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop/AP
'Sesame Street' features such characters as Rosita and Elmo.

Viewers may now need new directions to Sesame Street.

“Sesame Street,” the educational children’s program that’s aired on public TV channels since its debut in 1969, is reportedly moving to HBO. The cable network is currently most well-known for adult fare like “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective,” and “Veep.”

The next five seasons of “Sesame Street” will be on HBO. PBS will continue to air “Sesame Street," but the new installments won’t come to PBS until nine months after they air on HBO.

The new installments could appear by this fall and because of this new partnership, nearly twice as much “Sesame Street” content will be made.

In addition to HBO, new episodes of “Sesame” will be available on HBO Go, HBO On Demand, and HBO Now, the last of which allows viewers to subscribe to HBO without having cable. HBO Now is about $15 a month.

So, are families now going to be charged to watch “Sesame Street”?

Yes, if you want new episodes immediately. Some may object to the idea that viewers will be charged for the new installments. But this may not mean as much to other viewers.

After all, you don’t turn to “Sesame Street” for riveting cliffhangers – it’s a far different proposition to wait nine months for a new “Sesame Street” episode versus waiting almost a year to see, for example, fellow HBO show “Thrones,” which is known for its plot twists. 

Interestingly, around two-thirds of children who watch “Sesame Street” reportedly aren’t turning to PBS to do so, either – they’re watching it on demand

The move by HBO comes as streaming service Netflix is airing such children’s programming as “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” which is based on the hit animated “How to Train Your Dragon” movies, and “The Adventures of Puss in Boots,” which is based on the character of the same name from the “Shrek” film series.

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