Nickelodeon, often simply called Nick and originally named Pinwheel, is an American cable channel owned by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom International. The channel is primarily aimed at children ages 7–17, with the exception of their weekday morning program block aimed at preschoolers ages 2–6. Since 2006, it has been run by MTVN Kids & Family Group President Cyma Zarghami. It is ranked as the #1 cable channel as of 2011, and had been promoted as "The First Kids' Network," as it was the first American television network aimed at children since the Pinwheel days.
Nickelodeon broadcasts day runs on Sunday-Thursdays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time). Since 1985, it shares its channel space with Nick at Nite, a night time channel that airs sitcom reruns during the interim hours. It is treated as a separate channel by A.C. Nielsen Co. for ratings purposes. The two services are sometimes referred to under the collective name "Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite", due to their association as two individual channels sharing the same channel space.
The network's pre-history began on December 1, 1977 when QUBE, the first two-way interactive cable TV system was launched in Columbus, Ohio by Warner Cable (owned by Warner Communications, and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment). One of the specialized channels available to subscribers of the QUBE system was Pinwheel, a cable channel offering children's programming. Pinwheel was re-launched as Nickelodeon on April 1, 1979, and despite its prior history on the QUBE system under the Pinwheel name, it has declared that 1979 is the network's official launch year. It began airing on various Warner Cable systems, beginning in Buffalo, New York and quickly expanded its audience reach.