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Big Bird says "So long" to Big Brother

The Children's Television Workshop lost its government funding in 1981; but was supplemented by grants.

In 1998, the producers of Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) opened their brand to corporate sponsorships and product licensing. By 2004, 68% of their annual revenue came from this. Their TV episodes are syndicated worldwide and have been running for 48 seasons so far. If you think that this long running childrens' media brand will be hurt by government cutting of public broadcast funding, sadly you are mistaken about how large this franchise really is.

In 2005, their annual revenue grew 4% to $96m and that was due to international licensing.
Sesame Street on HBO is why you won't find the show running on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Sesame Workshop: Funding by Source, 2015

Non-profit status does not mean you don't rake in millions of dollars in revenues; it simply means how you run the organization and its tax liability is different than a for-profit one.


I can see the financial rationale behind cutting government support of "public" broadcasting, as purely a budgetary numbers game. 

Sesame Workshop has both non-profit and for-profit subsidiaries. It has built a very successful business model from an initial $8 million investment (this is how Sesame Street got created) to the more than $120m in assets the production company owns today. It is likely that Sesame Workshop will be unaffected by any measure of government cuts to public broadcasting.

Did you know that in the City of Portland, Oregon, there's an arts tax and funding comes out of the pockets of its adult residents earning more than $1,000 per year. The city tax benefits everyone who visits Portland's downtown area with all the public art displays.

Read more:
Sesame Workshop financials
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
Children's Television Workshop Origins
Trump's Proposed Cuts of Funding For Arts, Humanities And Public Media

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