HBO Challenges Disney, Viacom with Sesame Street Deal

HBO will look to use Sesame Street to lure fans of Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins and Nick Jr.'s Paw Patrol.

Signaling that it preparing to challenge Walt Disney Co. and Viacom in niche over-the-top programming packages aimed at kids and families, HBO said Thursday that it signed a deal with Sesame Workshop that will give it 35 first-run episodes of Sesame Street each year.

Executives at HBO, which launched direct-to-consumer network HBO Now in March, said the cable programmer will step up its investment in original kids programming.

“If we are going to lean into that and start to do more, we want to associate ourselves with a brand that is consummate to ourselves,” HBO CEO Richard Plelper said Thursday.

The deal will see HBO compete with networks such as Disney Junior and Viacom’s Nick Jr. With HBO parent Time Warner Inc. increasing its investment in original kids programming, look for both Viacom and Disney to launch direct-to-consumer versions of popular kids networks such as Disney Junior and Viacom’s Nick Jr.

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