PBS Kids: Brought To You By The Letters V-O-D

The public broadcasting service was once a commercial-free haven. Now select PBS kids' programming is part of PBS Kids Sprout, a round-the-clock channel and video-on-demand service featuring "Sesame Street," "Bob the Builder," "Barney" -- and ads.

PBS Kids Sprout will run through Comcast Corp. At press time, the service was picked up by some 16 million subscribers out of Comcast's 91 million cable households. The channel's initial sponsor was Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Huggies diapers. Sprout says it's talking with automotive, retail, healthy foods, and beverage marketers about sponsorship.

Ads target parents and run about two minutes per hour between, not during, programming. Kimberly-Clark's ads on Sprout are the same as it runs on mainstream TV, but Sprout hopes to expand sponsors' ads by offering tips and other content within them. Sprout is a joint venture with Comcast, PBS, the Sesame Workshop, and hit Entertainment, which produces "Thomas & Friends" and "Bob the Builder."

Next story loading loading..