Sprout partnership yields new broadcast plan
NBC will use its relationship with Sprout to create a Saturday morning programming block tailored for preschoolers, launching July 7.The three-hour NBC Kids segment will be programmed by Sprout, the 24-hour cable channel (with distribution in more than 50 million homes) that is a partnership of NBCUniversal, PBS, Sesame Workshop and Apax Funds. “This is an ideal blend of entertaining shows that also offer promising benefits to the development of children on many levels,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said. The programming will include familiar titles from the past decade such as “The Wiggles,” “LazyTown,” “Noodle & Doodle,” Jim Henson’s “Pajanimals,” “Poppy Cat” and “Justin Time” — all titles aimed at encouraging healthy eating and exercise, particularly for children ages 2-5. “Producing this new block for NBC will extend the reach of quality preschool programming beyond Sprout’s cable, VOD and digital platforms,” Sprout prexy Sandy Wax said, “affording millions of families the opportunity to watch quality preschool series that promote active, healthy lifestyles.” PBS became a minority partner in Sprout when it was formed in 2005, receiving a 15% interest without any capital investment.