Cartoon Network (UK & Ireland)

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This article is about the UK & Ireland variant of Cartoon Network. For the original American version, see Cartoon Network. For Cartoon Network around the world, see List of international Cartoon Network channels.
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Launched 17 September 1993
As Cartoon Network UK/Europe.
(English soundtrack)

15 October 1999
For UK and Ireland only.
(ex Pan European Feed Encrypted on Astra 1C)
Owned by Turner Broadcasting System Europe Ltd
Parent: Time Warner Inc.
Picture format 576i (16:9/4:3) (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.2%
0.1% (+1) (September 2014 (2014-09), BARB)
Slogan Check it.
What a Cartoon![3]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Headquarters Turner House,
Great Marlborough Street,
London, United Kingdom[5]
Sister channel(s) Boomerang
CNN International
Timeshift service Cartoon Network +1
VuTV Channel 238 on Freeview (UK)
Sky (UK & Ireland) Channel 601 (SD/HD)
Channel 602 (+1)
Channel 634 (SD)
On Demand
Astra 2A 12226 H 29500 3/4 (HD)
Encrypted with VideoGuard
Astra 2F 12520 V 22200 5/6
Encrypted with VideoGuard
Virgin Media (UK) Channel 704
Channel 705 (+1)
Channel 732 (HD)
TV Choice On Demand: Kids
Smallworld Cable (UK) Channel 704
Channel 705 (+1)
Channel 732 (HD)
UPC (Ireland) Channel 617 (+1)
Channel 620
Melita Cable (Malta) Channel 453
WightFibre (UK) Channel 56 (+1)
Channel 106
TalkTalk Plus TV (UK) Channel 562
BT (UK) Channel 562
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)
UPC Horizon Watch live (Ireland only)
Melita TV Anywhere Watch live (Malta only)

Cartoon Network, commonly abbreviated as CN, is a British television channel available on Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable, TalkTalk Plus TV, UPC Ireland and Freeview (UK) (via VuTV on channel 238). Distributed by Turner Broadcasting System Europe (a semi-autonomous unit of Time Warner).[5]

The channel primarily shows animated programming and was launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland as Cartoon Network UK/Europe on 17 September 1993.[6][7]

The United Kingdom was the first country to have a Cartoon Network headquarters outside of the United States in 1993,[8][9][10] serving Western Europe, but did not have a UK and Ireland only version until 1999. This was even though until 1999, the pan-European version only showed British advertisements,[11][12] and a majority of its audience were British. All programmes on the pan-European version were dubbed in English, with different audio language channels when a translated programme is available, which were indicated as language symbols on Now/Next bumpers. Cartoon Network UK also serves as the English language feed for Europe, which is also used by Malta. Cartoon Network launched a high definition version of the channel on 14 September 2011.[13][14]



On 1 October 1992, the original version of Cartoon Network was launched at CNN Center, Atlanta, USA. The channel was created in response of Turner Entertainment acquiring MGM's Cartoon and Film library in 1986 and the acquisition of the Hanna-Barbera animation studio and cartoon library in 1991. As a result of Turner purchasing MGM's Cartoon and Film library, Warner Bros pre-1948 content was also acquired, which included Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.[15] At launch in the United States, Cartoon Network had an 8,500 hour cartoon library,[16] and it became the first channel dedicated to cartoons. Six months after the launch, Cartoon Network expanded into foreign markets by launching a Latin American version of the channel dubbed in both Spanish, Portuguese and English. Cartoon Network's large animation library was in high demand in Western Europe[10] and as a response to consumer demand, Cartoon Network Europe was launched on 17 September 1993, broadcasting from London. It launched only less than 12 months after the original American version and only 16 days after its main children's television rival, Nickelodeon UK.[citation needed]


The original Cartoon Network logo, used from 17 September 1993 to 11 April 2005. The logo is still used today on some occasions.

The channel was originally twinned with movie channel TNT and ran from 5am until 7pm,[17] with TNT taking over from 7pm to 5am. Sunday afternoons saw "Super Chunk", which showed back to back episodes of one show for two hours between 1pm and 3pm.[18] Another feature was "The Longest Day", in which Cartoon Network ran for an extra four hours until 11pm on 21 June, every year beginning in 1994.[19][20] This slot was dedicated to full-length cartoon movies. The first theme was the Checkerboard theme, which showed graphics from its US counterpart and lasted until 1999.[citation needed] Also unlike its rival Nickelodeon, which was part of Sky Multichannels, Cartoon Network was free-to-air across Europe.[citation needed]

Introduction of 24 hour service[edit]

On 2 September 1996, Cartoon Network began running for an extra two hours until 9pm, and on 16 December 1996,[21] it became a 24-hour channel, as did TNT on the Astra 1G satellite. However, a timesharing version of the channel called TNT & Cartoon Network continued to appear on some providers.[citation needed] Two years later on 19 December 1998, Cartoon Network launched as part of the Sky Digital satellite platform on the Astra 2A satellite.[21] Also, in February 1997, Dutch cable provider A2000/KTA added the 24-hour Cartoon Network and TNT channels to its programming lineup.[21]

From 15 November 1998, Cartoon Network was part of ITV Digital's channel package, airing 24 hours a day until the service collapsed on 1 May 2002.[21][22]

Separation from Pan-European version[edit]

On 15 October 1999, Cartoon Network UK officially stopped being a pan-European feed, this was when the shared transponder analogue feed on Astra 1C became scrambled with VideoCrypt and when the short-lived UK and Ireland only version of TNT launched. Prior to this date, Cartoon Network Europe moved to Sirius II to serve Eastern Europe in August 1999 and Cartoon Network France and Spain launched at the same time on 23 August 1999, leaving the ex pan-European version (which is now the UK and Ireland only version) on Astra 1C acting as a de facto free to air secondary/transitional European feed for countries preparing to switchover to their own newly launched local versions of Cartoon Network up until encryption on 15 October 1999. TNT changed its programming from classic movies to general entertainment, TNT UK ceased to exist on 1 July 2000 and was replaced with an analogue version of TCM. During the late 90s and the early 2000s, Turner Entertainment Networks International (Now Turner Broadcasting System Europe) started localising their channels to suit different audiences across different countries around Europe.

Post-pan European split[edit]

After the pan-European split, Cartoon Network revamped in 15 October 1999 with the launch of a theme which had shapes and tiles with lines and footage of characters from various shows shown on Cartoon Network. This lasted until August 2002 and was used throughout Europe. This theme was produced by the British animation studio, Cosgrove Hall Films. A DJ theme was used during the AKA Cartoon Network programming block, bumpers include a live-action DJ scratching a record, which affects the playback of a cartoon clip.[23]

On 30 June 2001, the analogue feed on Astra 1C of Cartoon Network/TCM ceased broadcasting, this was when Sky ended its analogue services.[24]

An example of a bumper during 2002-2005. Each box shows a different video clip from the same or different cartoon. In each box, a character does an action, when they leave a box, they move to another box or their action is taken over by another character in another box.[25]

On 11 April 2005, ten months after it was introduced in the United States, the channel debuted a new logo and new idents.[citation needed]

Technical faults and interruptions[edit]

Cartoon Network's second logo used in various forms/ different colors/ different styles from 2005 to 2010.

On 27 July 2006 in the UK, Cartoon Network, along with the other channels, TCM, Boomerang, Toonami, Boomerang +1 and CN Too suffered a major technical fault due to a power cut in Soho, London. This was due to the energy supplier EDF Energy cutting power from different parts of Soho one at a time for four hours, purposely, due to the inability as the 2006 European heat wave had hit Turner Broadcasting System Europe. The power cut caused a mix up of channels (i.e. Cartoon Network being broadcast on Boomerang and Toonami, with Boomerang being broadcast on CN Too). Boomerang +1 was off air for some time, while TCM, reverted between TCM France and other programming during the times it was able to provide a service. TCM 2 didn't have a power cut because of its downtimes of timesharing. Most advertising was suspended and several of the channel websites were offline also. Those who could still receive the channels had a backup transmission played out, making people confused on why the incorrect programmes were played out when compared to the EPG CN Too and Boomerang were showing episodes of The Flintstones at the time. These backups were played out with a scrolling message which said "We apologise for the disruption to this service. This is due to technical difficulties. We will resume normal programming as soon as possible" in multiple languages. Whilst most channels returned to the air relatively quickly, it took longer for CN Too to resume programming. The idents on Toonami which aired between shows during the black-out displayed the message "Sorry! Toonami is broken, we'll be right back as soon as we fix it." These idents have since been re-used in disclaimers warning viewers not to try stunts on various shows at home.[citation needed]

Current events[edit]

On 24 May 2007, the network changed its branding to a similar look to ones one used during 1999-2005. On 11 November 2009, the network revamped which was designed by the design studio, Stardust. The new idents main theming is an arrow moving through several environments animated in 3D computer-generated imagery, such as a jungle, a city populated with DC Comics superheroes, a Disco/Rock concert and a Japanese anime themed world. This branding lasted until 26 September 2010.

A variation of the network's current logo which resembles its original logo, used as of 2010.

On 27 September 2010, Cartoon Network UK introduced its current branding and logo. Designed by Brand New School, it makes heavy use of a black and white checkerboard motif, as well as various CMYK color variations and patterns. This branding was used in the USA since 29 May 2010.[26][27]

On April 1, 2014, Cartoon Network's DOG moved, to the top-right corner. With that, Cartoon Network also added a Next bar using Check IT 3.0. Cartoon Network's Check IT 3.0 was fully adopted on July 21, in celebration of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu airing the first time on Cartoon Network UK.

Cartoon Network programmes[edit]

Original scheduling[edit]

When Cartoon Network initially launched, its schedule was mainly made up of short cartoons from both Warner Bros. and other studios, such as WB's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Tom and Jerry. A few years after, it started to broadcast its own programming such as The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory.

Programming blocks[edit]

In September 2000, Toonami began broadcasting weekdays for two hours between 4pm until 6pm, then from 9pm until 11pm, as well as weekends from 10am until 12 midday and 10pm until midnight. Dragonball Z had already been airing on Cartoon Network since March 2000, and had been attracting very good ratings, which may have contributed to the decision to launch Toonami in the UK. Its output consisted almost solely of Japanese anime such as the cult Dragonball Z, Tenchi Muyo, and Gundam Wing. The only non-Japanese shows for quite some time were the American-produced The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and Batman Beyond (Batman of the Future in the UK).

Around the same time, there was almost completely new programming on the channel, and so Boomerang began in a late night slot.

Sister networks[edit]


On 27 May 2000, the channel Boomerang was launched by Cartoon Network in the UK and Ireland,[28] and most "classic" cartoons were moved from Cartoon Network to the new channel, which initially broadcast from 6am–12am. On 1 October 2001, Boomerang became a 24-hour channel.[29]


Main article: Cartoonito

In May 2007, Cartoonito was launched as a pre-school channel replacing Toonami. The channel airs from 4am to 9pm.

Defunct sister networks[edit]


Main article: CNX

CNX was a channel operated by Turner Broadcasting System Europe in the UK and Ireland between 2002 and 2003. It was aimed at a male audience, with daytime programming aimed at older children and teenagers (predominantly 12–18 years of age), and evening programming aimed at older teenagers and young adults (the 17-34 demographic). The channel was carried in the 'Entertainment' section of the Sky programme guide, and was also available on cable (through the firms which are now Virgin Media)


Main article: Toonami (UK)

Toonami launched in September 2003 showing action programming. The channel had originally replaced CNX, a channel which launched in June 2002. In May 2007, just 4 years after its launch, Toonami was replaced with Cartoonito.

Cartoon Network Too[edit]

Main article: Cartoon Network Too

On 24 April 2006, Cartoon Network Too was launched on Sky the same day as sister TCM 2 and rival Nick Jr. 2, broadcasting cartoons primarily made by Hanna-Barbera such as Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Fix & Foxi and Friends, Johnny Bravo and Wacky Races.[21][30] The channel aired from 3 am to 7 pm every day until 24 May 2007, when it became a 24-hour channel, taking Toonami's slot and getting a new identity.[31] On 1 April 2014, Cartoon Network Too was replaced by a relaunched Cartoon Network +1.

Related Services[edit]

Cartoon Network +1[edit]

Cartoon Network +1 originally launched in 1998 as a one-hour timeshift of Cartoon Network before it was replaced by Cartoon Network Too on 24 April 2006. The channel was relaunched almost eight years later on 1 April 2014 replacing Cartoon Network Too, just as Cartoon Network Too had replaced them eight years earlier.

Cartoon Network HD[edit]

On 14 September 2011, a high-definition simulcast of Cartoon Network called Cartoon Network HD launched on Sky.[13] The channel broadcasts popular shows such as Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Regular Show, Adventure Time and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Amazing World of Gumball, Thundercats, Transformers: Prime, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 and Bakugan Gundalian Invaders in HD, as well as slightly older programs such as Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. On 17 January 2013, Cartoon Network HD launched on the Virgin Media's cable TV platform.[32]

Virgin On Demand Service[edit]

On 26 April 2007, Cartoon Network launched onto Virgin Media's On Demand system, thus allowing Virgin Media customers to watch Cartoon Network programmes whenever they like. They can also take advantage of pause, rewind and fast forward functions, when watching these programmes.

Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe[edit]

Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe is based at Cartoon Network's UK headquarters, it is the European equivalent to Cartoon Network Studios based in Burbank, California, USA. The studio was founded in 2007 and in 2010 it produced its first show, The Amazing World of Gumball,[33] created by Ben Bocquelet. Cartoon Network UK has also been involved in other co-productions in the past such as The Cramp Twins, Fat Dog Mendoza, Robotboy, Hero 108, Spaced Out, VBirds, Cult Toons, Chop Socky Chooks and Skatoony. The studio has also produced animation for the Malaria No More organisation.[34]

Animated shorts[edit]

The studio has also produced animated shorts which are accessible from their YouTube channel. Animated shorts produced by the studio include The Furry Pals, Mutant Moments, Hamshanks and the Himalolly Railway, Elliot's Zoo, Pinky Malinky and Verne on Vacation. The shorts are showcased in a similar way to Cartoonstitute by Cartoon Network USA. The studio is currently accepting opinions of the shorts by YouTube users.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Technical Changes To Cartoon Network and TNT Classic Movies (Archived by WayBack Machine: 27 Nov 1999)". Cartoon Network UK Website. Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Transponder News". Stefan Hagedorn. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Cartoon Network UK (See bottom of page for slogan)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Pan-European Opportunity: Cartoon Network". Turner Media Innovations. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Company Information". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Turner Info - Press Office". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. 
  7. ^ Turner Broadcasting comes of age with Cartoon Network HD | News | Rapid TV News
  8. ^ "Turner - About Us". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Turner - Jobs - UK". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Europe Plan By Turner". The New York Times. 9 March 1993. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (1/3)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (2/3) + Toon Byte". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Cartoon Network HD to launch next month". Digital Spy. 15 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Cartoon Network UK goes HD". Kidscreen. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Why Ted Turner is Cool". Dr Film. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cartoon Network off to a slow start". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Rosenbaum, Martin (28 July 1993). "Media: American invaders are targeting your kids: Children's rights and non-stop cartoons will do battle as US cable channels vie for British viewers". The Independent (London). Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Cartoon Network 1998". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "6-22-1996 "It's 10:50 and Cartoon Network is still on. Why? They were up late last night for the longest day."". Paramount Comedy Channel/New Mailbox. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "6-24-1996 "Do you think it will ever be possible for The Cartoon Network to stay on until midnight every night? We're not the people to ask. Cartoon Network is 24 hours in America, though."". Paramount Comedy Channel/New Mailbox. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d e "Timeline: Turner Broadcasting System Europe LTD". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  22. ^ "Race to find digital broadcaster". BBC. 1 May 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "Cartoon Network commercial (AKA sting)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "End of transmissions for TCM / Cartoon Network". AnalogueSat. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Cartoon Network Block Bumpers (2001)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  26. ^ "Cartoon Network International News Thread". Toon Zone. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Fan Talk: What do you like about the new look?". Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  28. ^ "Boomerang launches". Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  29. ^ "Boomerang expands". Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  30. ^ "Turner fights ITV and BBC with launch plans". Campaign. Retrieved 5 July 2011. [dead link]
  31. ^ "New look for Turner channels". Toy News Online. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  32. ^ "TCM and Cartoon Network launch in HD on Virgin Media". Digital Spy. 17 January 2013. 
  33. ^ McLean, Thomas. "U.K.-Produced 'Gumball' Debuts on CN May 8". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "MNM UK launch Beat The Mozzy". London: The Sun (News International). 9 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  35. ^ McLean, Thomas. "Six Shorts from CN Development Studio Europe". Retrieved 2 September 2011. 

External links[edit]