Cable Giant Helps With Sprout Net

It isn't jolly or green (as far as we know), but another giant his giving a sprout a helping hand.

PBS is teaming with cable giant Comcast and producers Sesame workshop and HIT Entertainment to launch PBS Kids Sprout, a video-on-demand (VOD) channel that will debut on Comcast this month, as well as a 24/7 digital-channel incarnation to launch in the fall.

Insight is also launching the VOD channel this month.

PBS Kids Sprout will be home to off-net versions of the toddler's block now airing daily on PBS broadcast stations, with the VOD version giving viewers the added bonus of scheduling the shows themselves.

The programming lineup includes series Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Barney, Teletubbies, Dragon Tales, Angelina Ballerina, and Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat. There will also be a "Children's Favorites" block that includes select episodes of various shows including Kratt's Creatures, Boohbah, Noddy, Fireman Sam and Adventures of Captain Pugwash.

The VOD service will offer 50 hours of programming per month, with twenty-five percent of that updated every two weeks. The VOD programming  will include Spanish-language versions of some of the shows, including Barney, Bob the Builder, and the Spanish version of Sesame Street, Plaza Sesamo.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.