NBCUniversal Consolidates Network and Sprout Licensing

The unit run by Stephanie Sperber already handles licensing for Universal movies and now takes on NBC network shows and the children’s network Sprout.

In a move to centralize consumer products licensing efforts, NBC Universal on Thursday added consumer products from the NBC Network and from the kid’s channel Sprout to the oversight of Stephanie Sperber, president of Universal Partnerships and Licensing.

According Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment, Sperber’s unit will now be responsible for licensing and consumer products for shows including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Biggest Loser, as well as Sprout, including its icon brand Chica.

Sprout was originally started by PBS with Comcast and other partners. Since November 2013, it has been wholly owned by NBC Universal, and the PBS branding on the channel was dropped.

“Integrating Sprout and NBC Entertainment content with our Universal film slate and library titles provides broad and compelling content to licensees around the world,” said Sperber.  “I look forward to strategically developing both traditional consumer products and multi-platform digital gaming opportunities with our partners and with retail."

UP&L was at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this week promoting upcoming movies including the 2015 releases Pitch Perfect 2, Fast & Furious 7, Minions and Jurassic World, for which Hasbro holds the master toy license.