HBO removes almost 200 episodes of 'Sesame Street'

A subscription to HBO Max costs $179.88 per year whereas many episodes of Sesame Street are free on their YouTube channel.

Joshua Young North Carolina

Around 200 episodes of "Sesame Street" were removed from the HBO Max streaming platform between Thursday night and Friday morning, one of the largest content dumps as the site gets rid of several other shows and movies.

Variety reports that earlier in the week, a total of 650 episodes of the beloved children's long-running television series were accessible through HBO Max. Episodes were featured from seasons 2-4, 6, and seasons 8 through 35. As of Friday, episode count went down to 456 and features content from Seasons 1, 5, 7, and 39 through 52.

In a statement, an HBO Max representative said, "'Sesame Street' is and has always been an important part of television culture and a crown jewel of our preschool offering. We are committed to continuing to bring 'Sesame Street' into families’ homes, including the newest season premiering this fall and the nearly 400 episodes of the most current and historic seasons that remain on Cartoonito on HBO Max."

On Wednesday, HBO announced that another 36 shows are being removed from the platform, including original content such as "Infinity Train," "Generation," and “Summer Camp Island." Films such as the Harry Potter franchise have been cut as well.

Warner Bros, who owns HBO and other properties such as CNN, merged with Discovery+ earlier this year. New CEO David Zaslov has cut many programs across the newly merged company's landscape. The company owns TBS and canceled Samantha Bee's late night program as well as shows "The Big D" and "Chad." CNN recently fired Brian Stelter in a move that was predicted soon after the merger was announced. High profile movie projects such as Batgirl have been axed as well.

According to CNBC, Zaslov is instituting measures to cut costs but reports have emerged that the massive cuts are part of a new vision for the company that is less polarizing along political lines.

As reported by Business Insider, 'Sesame Street' partnered with HBO in 2015, well before HBO Max was created in 2020. In 2015 the partnership was fueled by 'Sesame Street's' lack of funding and the deal gave HBO first priority on premiering new episodes on its multiplex channels. The show also premiered on HBO's previous streaming sites, HBO GO and HBO Now.

The deal was set for five years and did allow for PBS to air the content, just nine months after each episode's HBO premiere. 'Sesame Street' moved to HBO Max after a 2019 deal that set the program up under similar circumstances on HBO's new branded streaming service and its upcoming 53rd season will air on HBO GO in a deal that ends in 2025.

A subscription to HBO Max costs $179.88 per year for the monthly ad-free plan. On Friday the official 'Sesame Street' Twitter posted, "Your friends on Sesame Street will always be here when you need them. Visit the neighborhood any day of the week with full episodes on our YouTube channel."


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