Pre-School Network Sprouting In High Definition

Sprout, the Comcast-backed pre-schoolers' channel, plans to launch a high-definition simulcast in September, channel president Sandy Wax said.

Wax said she could not say yet if the channel would have a carriage berth at launch but said "there's been a lot of demand at the system and field level for Sprout HD as a companion to the linear launch."
At its fifth anniversary, the 24-hour channel has about 43 million homes, per Nielsen figures, and is in 50 million altogether, including distributors carrying Sprout's on-demand programming only, Wax said.
Much of Sprout's broadcast day is filled with animated shows, and in general there hasn't been a huge impetus from 2- to 5-year olds and their caregivers to see Angelina Ballerina in HD. HD "neighborhoods" are growing on multichannel schedules," though, and "you have to be there," Wax said.
"It's a good, big step for us in our evolution as we grow," she said.
Newer Sprout shows, such as the new live-animated green-living series dirtgirlworld, are produced in high definition, as are Sprout graphics and Sprout's 6-9 a.m. show featuring The Wiggles (Sprout's Wiggly Waffle). The Good Night Show is shot in HD now and Sprout's 9 a.m.-noon live program The Sunny Side Up Show will be shot in HD at some point, she said. Sprout's other owners are HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.