|Launched||September 9, 2006
January 8, 2007 (channel)
|Closed||June 30, 2012
July 1, 2012 (Telemundo block)
|Owned by||Ion Media Networks|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Where Good Fun Begins!|
|Broadcast area||National (but not available in all localities)|
|Headquarters||West Palm Beach, Florida|
|Formerly called||Smart Place for Kids|
|Sister channel(s)||Ion Television
|digital television||varies; usually on the second digital subchannel of Ion TV stations|
|Dish Network||Channel 217 (6 a.m.-3 p.m.)|
|DirecTV||Channel 306 (6 a.m.-3 p.m.)|
|Available on selected cable systems.||Check local listings for channels|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 491|
|Sky Angel||Channel 307|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 328|
Qubo (// KEW-boh stylized as "qubo") is an American multiplatform entertainment service operating as a digital broadcast and pay television channel, video on demand service and the name for block of children's programming on Ion Television. It is wholly owned by Ion Media Networks.
The name "Qubo" was chosen for the platform due to its "fun" sound and marketability in both English and Spanish.
In May 2006, Ion Media Networks, NBCUniversal, Corus Entertainment, Scholastic Corporation, and Classic Media announced plans to launch a new children's entertainment endeavor spread across all media platforms, including video-on-demand on digital cable and an interactive webpage. The Qubo programming was launched on September 9 morning as blocks on NBC and Telemundo channels with a block on i Network following on Friday afternoons starting on September 15. Qubo will launch with four new shows: “Dragon,” produced by Scholastic; “Jane and the Dragon,” produced by Nelvana, a Corus company; “VeggieTales” and “LarryBoy Adventures,” produced by Big Idea, a Classic Media company. NBCUniversal owned at the time NBC, Ion and Telemundo. Qubo filled NBC's Saturday morning kids programming, Discovery Kids, that ended in March.
Initially, religious content was edited out of the original VeggieTales broadcasts by request of NBC's standards and practices department. The removal drew criticism from the conservative watchdog group Parents Television Council, which complained to NBC. NBC replied that the editing conformed to the network's broadcast standards "not to advocate any one religious point of view." VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer also expressed discontent with the edits, stating that he was not informed that religious content would be removed from the series, and he would have refused to sign a contract if he had known of this beforehand. Vischer said, "I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money." Still, Vischer added that he understood NBC's wish to remain religiously neutral, and said, "VeggieTales is religious, NBC is not. I want to focus people more on 'Isn't it cool that Bob and Larry are on television?'"
In December 2006, a Spanish language website was launched for Qubo. On January 8, 2007, Ion launched Qubo as a digital subchannel network of its station group plus seeking carriage via cable, satellite and telecom distribution outlets in other markets. Qubo’s digital channel initially launched with a rolling four-hour block of children's programming. In May, NBC Universal sold its ownership in Ion to Citadel. On December 3, 2007, Qubo expanded its offerings on the digital channel to include shows from other producers, as well as some programming currently seen on the main Qubo blocks on Ion. In addition, the repeating schedule was expanded to a six-hour block, seen four times each day.
In January 2008, Ion Media Networks and Comcast reached an agreement to continue carrying Ion's digital channels: Ion Television, Qubo and Ion Life. In 2009, Ion began seeking the inquiry of the Federal Communications Commission for must-carry cable and satellite carriage of Qubo.
On September 28, 2011, Qubo launched a retro-cartoon block called “Night Owl” airing from 12 midnight to 5 AM.
- "Qubo's Rodriguez: Offering a 'Building Block' to Kids". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- Robertson, Ed (August 24, 2006). "Qubo, for English- and Spanish-speaking youngsters". medialifemagazine.com. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Hampp, Andrew (August 24, 2006). "NBC Debuts Kids Programming Brand Qubo". Ad Age. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Cohen, Sandy Talking Veggies Stir Controversy at NBC, Associated Press, Foxnews.com, September 22, 2006
- Goetzl, David (January 9, 2007). "Hola!: Qubo Launches 24/7 Kids Channel". Media Post. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "ION Media Networks, Citadel, and NBC Universal Reach Agreement to recapitalize ION -- ION expected to become privately held following transaction". Reuters. May 4, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "qubo Launches as 24-Hour Digital Broadcast Channel on ION Media Networks Station Group".
- ION Media Networks and Comcast Announce Affiliation Agreement for Channel Suite, Yahoo!, January 14, 2008
- ION Media Plugs In New Comcast Accord, Multichannel News, January 14, 2008
- (May 19, 2009). Ion Uses FCC Inquiry on Content Control to Push for Qubo Carriage. MultiChannel News.
- "ION Media Networks Inks Multi-Affiliate Deals for Diginets". Telecommunications Weekly. May 26, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Qubo to air "Night Owl" Late-Night Retro Cartoons Block; Spliced returns September 28". kidsonlineplace.com. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 28, 2012). "NBC Launches Preschool Saturday Block Programmed By Sprout". DeadLine. Retrieved March 29, 2012.