November 11, 2008

Sesame Street Moves To The Internet

The best way to get to Sesame Street these days is through a walk on the world wide web, specifically the web sites iTunes, Hulu and YouTube.

After 40 years on Public Broadcasting Service-affiliated television stations, the popular children's program "Sesame Street" is moving to the Internet.

Viewers of Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie and the Count can now watch episodes and clips of the show in three ways, according to a statement released by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group once known as the Children's Television Workshop.

The announcement coincides with the 39 year anniversary of "Sesame Street."

People can download full episodes from season 35 and onward for $1.99 at Apple Inc's iTunes store.

The episodes complement existing Sesame Street programming on iTunes, like "Talk, Listen, Connect" for children whose parents are deployed in the military, and "Happy Healthy Ready for School" featuring the furry, red creature Elmo.

Sesame Workshop will receive 70 percent of the revenue in the iTunes deal, said Terry Fitzpatrick, Sesame's vice president of distribution.

"It's an area we certainly hope grows," he said.

Google Inc's YouTube will begin a Sesame Street channel with more than 100 clips from the show. Hulu, an online video venture between News Corp and General Electric Co's NBC, will feature 100 Sesame Street segments and 30 other segments featuring celebrity actor guests like Julia Roberts and Laurence Fishburne.

Sesame Street's fans are mostly young children, though there are adults who enjoy the nostalgia value that the show provides, Fitzpatrick said.

The first 10 seasons of the show are not available online. Sesame Workshop and DVD distributor Genius Products are anxious not to cut sales which are available on disc, he said.


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