It's the start of something big for families of preschoolers as Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment (London Stock Exchange: HTE) today announced the launch of PBS KIDS Sprout. This month marks the initial launch, with PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand, a new video- on-demand (VOD) service debuting on Comcast. In addition to the new VOD service, a 24x7 digital cable channel will launch this fall, making PBS KIDSSprout the perfect place for parents and their little ones to enjoy the wonders of early childhood.
PBS KIDS Sprout was created as a partnership between Comcast, the country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services; PBS, the most trusted distributor of award-winning children's programming; and HIT Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, two of the leading providers of quality entertainment for young children. Featured programs on PBS KIDS Sprout on Demand that parents can pause, fast forward and rewind so their children can enjoy favorite scenes as many times as they'd like include:
* Sesame Street(R) * Bob the Builder(TM) * Barney & Friends(TM) * Thomas & Friends(TM) * Angelina Ballerina(TM) * Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat(TM) * Caillou(R) * The Berenstain Bears(TM) * Jay Jay the Jet Plane(TM) * Teletubbies(TM) * Dragon Tales(TM)
PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand now is available for no additional charge in Comcast markets with VOD service and is being brought to viewers in association with local PBS stations. Insight Communications also is launching PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand this month. The VOD service will offer 50 hours of programs a month, with twenty-five percent of the programs updated every two weeks, so families will always have a fresh selection of episodes to enjoy together.
"Children's programming is one of the most popular VOD categories, and now Comcast is offering customers even more of the programs they enjoy anytime they want," said Brian Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast. "Families can depend on PBS KIDS Sprout for the programs kids love and parents trust."
"Bringing together shows children love and parents trust - from Bob the Builder to Barney & Friends to Sesame Street - PBS KIDS Sprout is the ultimate destination for preschoolers and their families," said Charlie Caminada, Chief Operating Officer, HIT Entertainment. "This unprecedented partnership couples quality programming from the leaders in children's content with the leading US cable provider and the most trusted name in children's television, PBS KIDS."
"This partnership provides a second home for the popular, award-winning children's programming block that PBS stations premiere in every home in America, free and over-the-air," added Pat Mitchell, PBS President and CEO.
"Delivered locally on cable in association with our stations, and via satellite, the new service extends the access to these programs that children love and parents trust to 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
"Imagine laughing and learning with Elmo, Big Bird and even Oscar any time of day," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. "PBS KIDS Sprout offers parents an opportunity to share in the simple moments of a child's everyday world, and a chance for a new generation of children to enjoy engaging shows at their convenience."
In addition to the stand-alone titles, a "Children's Favorites" category includes episodes of Boohbah(TM); George Shrinks(TM); Seven Little Monsters; Kratt's Creatures; Zoboomafoo(TM); Archibald the Koala; Big Sister, Little Brother; Adventures of Captain Pugwash; Three Friends & Jerry; Dennis & Gnasher; Fireman Sam; Pingu; Noddy; and more. PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand also will feature Spanish-language programming, including episodes of Barney & Friends, Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina, as well as Plaza Sesamo, the Spanish-language adaptation of Sesame Street.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in children's lives around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award- winning programs like Dragon Tales and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and ground breaking multimedia productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street, Dragon Tales and Sagwa products right back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at http://www.sesameworkshop.org.
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching over 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web sites - pbskids.org and pbskidsgo.org - continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visitors and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
About HIT Entertainment
Established in 1989, HIT Entertainment (http://www.hitentertainment.com) is one of the world's leading preschool children's entertainment producers and rights owners of internationally renowned children's brands, such as Bob the Builder(TM), Barney(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Angelina Ballerina(TM) and Pingu(TM). HIT acts as a representative for The Wiggles(R) in the US, UK, and Canada, and as worldwide representative for The Jim Henson Company's library of classic family brands, including Fraggle Rock(TM). With operations in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan, the company's activities span television production and distribution, home entertainment, consumer products, publishing and live events. HIT is committed to providing enduring entertainment that supports the values of devoted caregivers and empowers young children with a positive approach to life.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers and 7 million high-speed Internet customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, AZN Television, TV One and four Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.