Snoopy has a rather disappointing announcement for us all this holiday season. According to a Peanuts tweet on October 19, "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+."
While you can view it for free from October 30 to November 1 alongside other holiday specials from the beloved show, this is a pretty rotten blow to the millions of people who love the Charlie Brown universe.
What happens now — According to a press release from the Canadian production and licensing company WildBrain, Peanuts specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will stream on Apple TV+.
"The Peanuts gang will also deck the halls with the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas, streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ on December 4. The holiday special will be available to customers for free from December 11 until December 13," the press release states.
Free doesn't cut it — Temporarily removing the price tag from these specials doesn't make the deal acceptable. Exclusivity contracts are meant to keep certain consumers out. Despite being free, this Apple TV+ offer leaves out the groups of people who may not necessarily even want a smart TV or may not have access to one, as well as people who don't want to support Apple as a company. Whether Big Tech likes it or not, there are legitimate reasons for avoiding smart TV and Apple as consumer decisions.
By taking ABC out of the equation, Apple TV+ is making a rather unfair claim on a classic favorite that millions adore and gather over every year. It's the ongoing battle between free and paid streaming services. The beauty of companies like ABC and CBS is that anyone with an antenna can access their programs and specials. You don't need to buy a special smart contraption for it.
By taking Peanuts into its grip, Apple TV+ is — whether it intends it or not — blocking out customers can't or who may not want to migrate away from free public broadcasts. It's evident why Apple pulled a move like this at the eleventh hour; it has yet to impress customers and convert them into loyal subscribers despite trying to spruce up its roster of shows. But this hawk-like grab is already having the opposite effect of impressing viewers. A quick glance at reactions on Twitter alone shows that people are upset and angry. Justifiably so.