With the help of Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster, this workshop tells children how to get to Sesame Street. Sesame Workshop produces the Emmy Award-winning children's show Sesame Street which is distributed by the Public Broadcasting Service to millions of children in 140 countries. It also creates such shows as 3-2-1 Contact, Dragon Tales, Ghostwriter, and The Electric Company. A not-for-profit organization, Sesame Workshop receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as from foundations, individual contributions, and such sponsors as American Greetings, BAE Systems, and Sanlam. The company was founded in 1968 as the Children's Television Workshop.
Sesame Workshop has grown into a worldwide educational phenomenon, reaching millions of children in about 150 countries.
In addition to its sponsors and foundational support, Sesame Workshop generates revenue through distribution of its educational content through DVDs and magazines.
Sesame Workshop reported revenue of $113.8 million in fiscal 2012, which was a 15% decrease compared to the previous year primarily due to a 25% decrease in distribution fees and royalties revenues along with a 20% decrease in program support revenues. In fiscal 2012 the company slumped to a net loss of $22.36 million. The loss was the result of increased operating expenses combined with lower revenues.
The company has expanded beyond the TV screen, employing websites, podcasts, and other digital media to get its educational message out to kids. Licensing characters and other intellectual property for consumer products (clothing, toys, and home goods) also accounts for a significant portion of revenue.
Children's Television Workshop changed its name to Sesame Workshop after purchasing the Sesame Street Muppet characters from EM.TV (now Constantin Medien) for $180 million in 2000. The German media concern had acquired the rights to the characters that same year when it bought The Jim Henson Company.