NBCUniversal takes control of Sprout network, buying out partners PBS, Hit

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal says it has taken full control of Sprout, the pay TV channel for preschoolers that it had launched with joint venture partners PBS, Sesame Workshop and Hit Entertainment in 2005.

NBCU had a 47 per cent stake previously while remaining partners PBS had about 17 per cent and Hit had about 35 per cent. Sesame Workshop had sold its stake prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PBS’ brand will slowly be removed from the network, previously known as PBS Kids Sprout, over the next few months, although popular PBS programs such as “Sesame Street” and “Caillou” will still be shown. The 24-hour network reaches more than 60 million homes in the U.S. and competes with channels like Nick Jr. and Disney Junior.