Universal Kids (formerly PBS Kids Sprout and Sprout) is an American pay television channel aimed at children aged 2–11. It is owned by the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The channel was launched on September 26, 2005.
The network was first launched as a joint venture between PBS, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, and HIT Entertainment devoted to children's television programming aimed at a preschool audience. Following Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, the company gradually bought out the remaining owners' shares in the channel, reaching full ownership in 2013. The network's operations were subsequently relocated from Philadelphia to New York City and the "PBS Kids" name was dropped from its branding.
The network rebranded under its current name on September 9, 2017 to take the branding of sister company Universal Pictures, expanding its primetime programming to focus on a wider youth audience, while continuing to broadcast preschool-oriented programming during the daytime hours. In particular, these new programs have drawn from the library of DreamWorks Animation, imports from other English-speaking countries (such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom), and non-scripted programming (including game shows and youth spin-offs from other NBCUniversal-owned reality series, such as American Ninja Warrior and Top Chef)
The channel was available to approximately 56 million American pay television households (48.2% of households with television) in the United States as of January 2016 (when it was still primarily known as Sprout).
It is unknown if Thomas & Friends would air on this channel even though it is still owned by Universal.