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How do you get to Sesame Street? Through Selina Myer’s pres­i­den­tial motor­cade, over John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight desk, and then a right at King’s Landing.

The beloved children’s show, which pre­miered on Nov. 10, 1969, will move to HBO starting this fall after a deal was struck between Sesame Work­shop, the non-​​profit orga­ni­za­tion behind the show, and the pre­mium cable network.

Sesame Street has aired on PBS for the past 45 years. And while many may be shocked by last Thursday’s announce­ment, Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design lec­turer Tim Ouil­lette says he really isn’t surprised.

A multi-​​million dollar organization

“Sesame Work­shop has gen­er­ated mil­lions of dol­lars in rev­enue for years now,” Ouil­lette noted. “They are a huge busi­ness and this move is going to allow them to increase production.”

While Sesame Street was launched as a free and public edu­ca­tional show geared toward low-​​income chil­dren, it has since grown into a busi­ness that gen­er­ates rev­enue from mer­chan­dise, books, and inter­na­tional expansion.

“I think people are shocked because they were under the illu­sion Sesame Street had no com­mer­cial inten­tions and that is just not the case any­more,” Ouil­lette said. “It’s not some mom-​​and-​​pop operation.”

Supremacy in online streaming

As part of the deal, new episodes of Sesame Street will be avail­able on HBO and its streaming out­lets begin­ning this fall. After a nine-​​month embargo, those episodes will re-​​air on PBS. Sesame Work­shop will be able to increase the number of episodes it pro­duces a year from 18 to 35.

Ouil­lette added this new part­ner­ship is also a huge win for HBO, which is working to estab­lish its supremacy in online streaming.

“A key to that supremacy is chil­dren mar­keting,” Ouil­lette said. “More and more kids are dis­cov­ering Sesame Street through on-​​demand plat­forms and I think this move is solely to bol­ster their streaming service.”

Future of Sesame Street programming

The mis­sion of Sesame Street since its pre­miere has been to pro­mote preschool pro­gram­ming, and Ouil­lette said he does not see that changing in the imme­diate future with the move to HBO.

But once it estab­lishes itself as part of HBO’s streaming ser­vice, Ouil­lette noted sub­scribers could pos­sibly influ­ence the show’s content.

“ I really see this as a move to com­pete against Amazon Prime and Net­flix,” he said. “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.”

Read the original story at news@Northeastern