Friday, August 14, 2015

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Premium Cable?

Just in case you missed the big news in children's television programming yesterday, Sesame Street signed a 5 year deal with HBO that will see new episodes air on HBO first, then eventually on public broadcasting. Considering one of Sesame Street's early goals was providing learning tools to poorer children that had no access to preschool and kindergarten it's been seen by many as a controversial decision. The realities of the decision are that the show is expensive to produce and it doesn't have as much licensing money rolling in as it used to. Partnering with HBO like this allows them to produce more episodes and while HBO gets a first crack at those episodes, they'll eventually end up on PBS.

I don't know, the whole things seems a bit like people are making a mountain out of a molehill. The big story here might just be how this impacts funding for Public TV down the road. Conservatives especially love to talk about what a waste of money PBS and NPR are. Does having one of the most public faces of public broadcasting partnering with a private company known for their premium service change that debate? I don't know, but I'll bet it'll come up at least once or twice in the presidential campaigns.




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