Can you tell me how to get how to get to… the bank?? Looks like everyone’s favorite childhood show might be losing some serious guap.
Yes. Sesame Street and its production company the Sesame Workshop do make a lot of money from product licensing, but not nearly enough to cover expenses.
According to the company’s most recent financial report, the Workshop earned about $45 million in merchandising during 2010, which accounted for one-third of its total revenue. The rest came mainly from distribution fees and royalties, and from an assortment of private donors, corporate sponsors, and government grants.
45 mili?? That’s it? But wait, there’s more…
That may sound like more than enough to make a puppet-based television show, but according to the same report, the operating expenses for the Sesame Workshop totaled about $133 million, including $37 million for production and development of TV shows at home and abroad; $41 million for production and distribution of non-TV content including apps, home video, and live entertainment; and a hair under $7 million for “Muppet acquisition.”
The rest of the money goes towards education, outreach and fundraising expenses. Only about $4 million comes from PBS annually, and in return PBS only gets back SOME of the cost.
Everyone grew up watching Sesame Street, could you imagine it not being on for future generations? And Big Bird wept.