NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group has acquired the full ownership the popular US pre-school channel Sprout, the first 24 hour pre-school network.
The acquisition follows the buyout of the network’s remaining partners at PBS and HIT Television Ventures, a company controlled by Apax Funds.
Launched in 2005 as a joint venture between Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment, Sprout will is now 100 per cent owned and integrated with the Cable Entertainment Group.
The move marks the firm’s ‘commitment to building an overall kids and family entertainment strategy.’
Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said: "We see enormous potential in Sprout and we are committed to our investment in the kids and family arena.
"This acquisition furthers our strategy to create and deliver the very best content across all of our audiences."
Sandy Wax, president, Sprout, added: "Over the past eight years, Sprout has grown to become a leading pre-school destination, reaching over 60 million homes and generating more than 1.5 billion on demand views.
"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."
Sprout joins NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s portfolio of channels, including USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo, Oxygen and Esquire Network.