NBCUniversal buys out remaining partners in PBS Kids Sprout

By Dru Sefton

The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group has acquired full ownership of PBS Kids Sprout, according to the New York Times.

The cable channel was founded by a partnership including public television in 2004.

NBCUniversal bought out the ownership stakes of PBS and HIT Television Ventures, which is owned by Apax Funds. PBS branding will be removed from the channel. Another former partner, Sesame Workshop, sold its stake to NBCUniversal in December 2012.

PBS spokesperson Anne Bentley told the Times in a statement that “a great deal has changed since Sprout launched eight years ago,” with PBS ending up as the only noncommercial broadcaster with an ownership stake. “These and other developments in the media landscape have resulted in the original Sprout partners having different goals,” the statement said.

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