Sprout Launches In Tampa On Bright House Networks

PBS Kids Sprout has launched on Bright House Networks’ Tampa Bay, Fla., system, bringing cable launches for the 24-hour channel over the past year to about 5 million subscribers.

BHN’s Tampa Bay region, which lists the preschooler programmer on digital cable channel 121, ranked as the eighth-biggest cable system nationwide on the Multichannel News Top-100 list published in March, with about 1.1 million “customer relationships.” Sprout spokeswoman Jenni Glenn called this the largest non-Comcast rollout the channel (partly owned by Comcast) has achieved on the East Coast.

Under an affiliation agreement with Time Warner Cable that also extends to BHN, Sprout previously was launched on TWC’s large regional systems in Los Angeles, Dallas and San Antonio, Glenn said.

Approaching its third anniversary, the network—also owned by PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment—said it is available in 33 million homes as a standalone channel and in 44 million homes including affiliates carrying only Sprout on-demand programming.

Shows include originals The Sunny Side Up Show and The Good Night Show and acquired fare such as Bob The Builder, Barney & Friends, Angelina Ballerina and Dragon Tales.

The network isn’t Nielsen rated but can point to such milestones as having received 300,000 viewer submissions to the year-old Sunny Side Up, including homemade birthday cards and e-mails to co-host Chica the Chicken (pictured). Sprout plans a three-hour primetime live birthday party for Chica on Friday, Sept. 26, the date of the show’s third anniversary.

Chica was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Best Weather Anchor but lost out to Kathy Orr of Philadelphia’s CBS3.