NBCU Buys Out Sprout Partners

The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group has acquired full ownership of the 24-hour preschool network Sprout, following a buyout of its remaining partners at PBS and HIT Television Ventures, a company controlled by Apax Funds. 

Sprout will now be 100 percent owned and integrated within the Cable Entertainment Group as it deepens its commitment to building an overall kids and family entertainment strategy.

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

Launched in 2005 as a joint venture between Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and

HIT Entertainment, Sprout was the first 24-hour destination for children ages 2 to 5 and their caregivers across all platforms­–TV, on-demand and online. 

With programming structured to follow the day of the child from morning to night, Sprout features original programming including “The Chica Show” and “Noodle and Doodle” alongside a library of hit series such as “Caillou” and “Sesame Street” and U.S. exclusives including “Lazytown” and “Tree Fu Tom.” 

“Over the past eight years, Sprout has grown to become a leading preschool destination, reaching over 60 million homes and generating more than 1.5 billion on demand views,” says Sandy Wax, president, Sprout. “We are committed to creating the highest quality series for our viewers, and the opportunity to help drive the company’s kids and family strategy will continue to fuel our content creation engine.”

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