Hey Bird… Seems we’re off to the land of premium cable Bird… Yes, the iconic Sesame Street is making the leap to HBO. Why?

In a word – Netflix. You remember how the HBO chief of programming said the network wouldn’t program defensively? Here’s Exhibit A for that BS. It’s a defensive move because the network knows it needs to start offering children’s programming.

Parents? It may be time to learn parental controls. Last thing you need is your five-year-old binging Sesame Street to be greeted by whatever gruesome death Game of Thrones cooks up in season six.

The deal works out to five seasons worth of Sesame Street, and the Sesame Workshop will expand each season from 18 episodes to 35. In addition to the iconic program, it will create an additional spin off and a completely original series.

Most are probably wondering why PBS didn’t do that? Well, PBS is publically funded, and the Department of Defense needs a new toy the military brass doesn’t even want. Educating your kids or blowing shit up in the Middle East…

HBO Needs Your Kid

Netflix and Amazon Instant Video figured out the key to a growing subscriber base lies with your crayon commandos. Want to hook the parents? Toss kids programming on the service.

In 2012, Netflix inked a $300-million-per-year deal for the first-run rights to Disney movies starting next year. Good lord, Frozen just became portable? Remind me to deactivate my wifi when my niece and nephew come over.

2013 saw Netflix sign a deal with Pixar for over 300 hours of original programming. The deals are paying off in spades. Netflix announced last fall that more than 75 of its kids’ shows had attracted more than two million viewers. Over a dozen had secured viewership of at least five million viewers in the U.S.

Damn, maybe NBC can buy a few shows.

Amazon has followed Netflix’s lead with a multi-year Viacom deal for Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.

What makes kids’ programming lucrative is they watch the same show over and over. Hmmm, I watch shows over and over, and I’m 32. What are you trying to say HBO?

Joking aside, the mileage a service such as HBO Now or Netflix can get is astounding. Kids watch what they want when they want it.

Sesame Workshop’s chief Jeff Dunn told the Wall Street Journal over two-thirds of the show’s viewers catch it first either on-demand or through online streaming. Kids, aged 2 to 11 are watching eight hours of online video a month. That’s double from 2013 and probably grossly underestimated.

hob and sesame street

HBO has the ‘cord cutting’ HBO Now available. How do you get money from adults? You go through their kids. When the little ones need their Big Bird fix, they will be tapping away on their iPad, demanding the latest and greatest.

Anyone else getting the distinct feeling ‘cord-cutting’ is going to come back to bite us. $10 here, $5 there, etc. As networks rush to fill what consumers are clamoring for, you’re going to notice you’re paying more than before.

Oh, and the cord? It’s still poking through your floor. How else do you think you’re getting a broadband connection?

What are your thoughts about Cookie Monster and company joining the ranks of Game of Thrones, Ballers, True Detective and others?

Hey Bird, did you watch True Detective last night?


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