×

NBCUniversal Acquires Full Ownership Of Kiddie-Cabler Sprout

NBCU expands its reach to kids with increased stake in TV net for preschool set

NBCUniversal has purchased full ownership in Sprout, the preschool-focused entertainment network that had been jointly controlled by NBCU, PBS and HIT Television Ventures, a company controlled by Apax Funds.

“We see enormous potential in Sprout, and we are committed to our investment in the kids and family arena,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman of  NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, the unit in which Sprout will be housed, in a prepared statement.  “This acquisition furthers our strategy to create and deliver the very best content across all of our audiences.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sprout  reaches more than 60 million homes, Sprout President Sandy Wax said in a statement.

Sprout was started in 2005 as part of an effort to reach kids between the ages of 2 and 5, as well as the people who care for them. Its programming is structured to reflect a child’s activities throughout the day, whether it be getting dressed in the morning or going to sleep at night. The network runs PBS kids’ classics including “Sesame Street” and “Caillou” sa well as original series such as “The Chica Show” and programming acquired exclusively for a U.S. run, such as “Lazytown.”

Hammer has recently been refining the networks under her aegis. In September, she decided to end the Style network, the theory being that the outlet was not distinctive enough from other female-focused networks including Bravo and Oxygen.

By canceling Style, Hammer was able to give Esquire wider distribution when it launched several weeks ago and keep G4, a network aimed at young men, extant. The purchase of Sprout would give NBCU full say over a network whose audience would be largely complimentary to those reached by other networks it owns.

More TV

  • Picture shows: MAKING OF - Underwater

    Netflix Orders 'Oceans' Natural History Series From 'Blue Planet II' Creator

    Netflix has ordered a multi-part natural history series on the world’s oceans from Freeborne Media, the production outfit of acclaimed natural-history producer James Honeyborne, who created “Blue Planet II.” Each of the series’ episodes will focus on a different ocean, “combining the disciplines of oceanography, geography and earth sciences to experience these characteristics in new [...]

  • 13 REASONS WHY

    Netflix Revises Controversial '13 Reasons Why' Suicide Scene

    Netflix has edited the controversial suicide scene from “Thirteen Reasons Why” two years after the show originally premiered. “We’ve heard from many young people that ’13 Reasons Why’ encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help—often for the first time,” Netflix said in a statement Monday. “As we [...]

  • Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and

    Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and Heroic' 'Years and Years' Character

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.” Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death. In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, [...]

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content