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NBC weighing KidsCo options

NBC Universal’s international boss Jeff Shell has told TBIvision that the company will not be buying Corus out of KidsCo.

There has been mounting speculation that NBC will buy out Cookie Jar and Corus, its joint-venture partners in the business.

Shell, president, NBC Universal International, was speaking at NATPE in Miami. After his conference session he told TBIvision that Corus is a key content provider and will remain a partner in the KidsCo business. He would not comment on whether there were plans to buy out Cookie Jar, but it is understood that is a distinct possibility as the Canadian kids producer and distributor examines its options.

Shell said that NBCU is evaluating what form its kids channel operation should take and particularly what presence it should have stateside. “The big question for the kids business is what we do in the US,” Shell said. “If you look at Comcast cable, kids TV is a critical part of the business. The question is how does [NBC Universal] play in that world.”

KidsCo recently parted company with managing director Paul Robinson, who has a small share in the kids channel. It is understood that NBC Universal is discussing acquiring Robinson’s stake and that of Chris Borde, another member of the team that launched the channel. Both are thought to have stakes of about 3%.