Sprouting In High Definition

PHILADELPHIA — Sprout, the
Comcast-backed preschoolers’
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
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 a.m. to 9 a.m.
show featuring The Wiggles
(Sprout’s Wiggly Waffle)
. The
Good Night Show
is shot in
HD now and Sprout’s live 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 Nexttv.com. 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.