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When Behemoths Like Apple Hoard Cultural Touchstones, It’s a Recipe for Disaster

Illustration for article titled When Behemoths Like Apple Hoard Cultural Touchstones, It’s a Recipe for Disaster

Picture: Apple/Peanuts

The vacations are trying rather less Linus this 12 months for Peanuts followers hoping to catch Charlie Brown specials on community tv, as has been custom for many years. As a substitute, Peanuts will probably be solely accessible on Apple’s streaming service—which has prompted a petition demanding the specials return to broadcast TV. It’s not the primary time a streaming service has snapped up a beloved franchise to spice up its subscriber numbers, but it surely does elevate new questions in regards to the implications of exclusivity rights to cultural touchstones.

Apple final week introduced an expanded partnership with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide, and Lee Mendelson Movie Productions that will convey Peanuts originals—together with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and “It’s the Nice Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”—to Apple TV+, which Apple has been making an attempt to bulk up with a mix of its originals and a number of acquisitions.

In response to the information, a petition requesting the Peanuts collection return to broadcast tv is choosing up momentum. The petition, which says its purpose is to “get our Peanuts again on tv and produce again the custom,” has amassed almost 200,000 signatures as of this writing.

An Apple TV+ subscription at present prices $5 per 30 days except unlocked with a promotional provide. Apple stated that it will make the aforementioned three specials accessible without spending a dime for three-day home windows close to their respective holidays, however customers would nonetheless want entry to the Apple TV app to look at them. Apple didn’t instantly return a request for remark in regards to the particular phrases of exclusivity for the Charlie Brown specials, nonetheless, a supply cited by Vulture stated that the Peanuts specials wouldn’t air on ABC as they’ve for the final twenty years.

The change calls to thoughts HBO’s personal acquisition of a cherished household franchise with Sesame Road, which now premieres first on the current iteration of the service with HBO Max. Although episodes of the present still air on PBS, a person streaming service holds the keys to accessing newer episodes. And entry to HBO Max, very like Apple TV+, will largely rely on the know-how you will have entry to and your willingness to pay for or in any other case subscribe to a particular streaming service.

As streaming companies compete ever extra aggressively for our cash and our eyeballs, we’re prone to see a better variety of goliaths hoarding legacy franchises. However most individuals can’t and received’t subscribe to every part, and meaning exclusivity comes on the detriment of entry to beloved characters and storytelling. That’s a disgrace.

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Catie Keck