NBCUniversal, Corus to Shutter KidsCo Network in Early 2014

Closure for the international children's network follows the U.S. studio taking full ownership of the preschool channel Sprout.

TORONTO -- NBCUniversal International and Canadian minority partner Corus Entertainment are shutting down their children’s network KidsCo early next year.

The move follows NBCU taking full ownership of the preschool network Sprout, and growing competition in the kids arena.

"As one of many children’s linear services available in the international market, growing the KidsCo business has been challenging," the kids network, which offers content globally to 100 territories in 17 languages via cable, satellite TV and IP TV channels, said in a statement.

"As a result, both shareholders, NBCUniversal and Corus Entertainment, have decided to discontinue the joint venture service by early 2014,” KidsCo, which launched in 2007, added.

Cookie Jar Entertainment last year cashed out of the joint venture after five years, leaving NBU and Corus to raise their corresponding stakes.

Syfy Kids, a joint venture in Asia between KidsCo and NBCU, will also shut down.