Comcast's NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group said it increased its stake to full ownership of Sprout, the preschool network, by buying out its partners at PBS and HIT Television Ventures, a company controlled by Apax Funds.
Launched in 2005 as a joint venture among Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment, Sprout will now be 100% owned and integrated within the Cable Entertainment Group "as it deepens its commitment to building an overall kids and family entertainment strategy," NBCU said in a release.
“We see enormous potential in Sprout, and we are committed to our investment in the kids and family arena,” Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said in the release. “This acquisition furthers our strategy to create and deliver the very best content across all of our audiences.”
“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,” Sprout president Sandy Wax said in the release. “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.”
Financial terms were not disclosed.
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment's portfolio of channels include USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo, Oxygen and the newly launched Esquire Network.