Online play has changed game for PBS Kids Sprout

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PBS Kids Sprout brings together established brands such as Bob the Builder through a nutrition-based, ad-supported experience which kids and parents can interact with through the shows, the games on Kids Sprout website and the video-on-demand channel, which became the third-most-viewed VOD network in 2006.

President Sandy Wax spoke with Ad Age reporter Andrew Hampp about recent successes.

What are some examples of effective use of multiple platforms that you've seen in the kids space?

To be really multiplatform, you really need to be platform-agnostic. I think Sprout's getting a good start on this with the healthy-eating idea. If you think about what kind of experience kids and families want to have-whether it's online, on-demand, television or some other way-they're all important to consider.

You play up the nutritional aspects online with Sprout Diner. How important is the website for a linear kids network?

Having on-demand content [online] has really changed the game in the way kids and families are watching television. We talked to moms about what it means to have this great resource of all these great shows, and we'd get all this feedback about how it changed their lives and was so great. Now, whatever she wants is all there. It's a sort of freeing experience to be able to find what you want when you want it.

Given limitations on advertising, where would you like to see sponsors go with you?

We're struggling with the reality that there are particular challenges in the food business. We're also looking at retail as a big potential area to expand.
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