|Owned by||Discovery Communications (50%)
(Hub Television Network, LLC)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Making Family Fun|
|Formerly called||Discovery Kids (1996–2010)
The Hub (2010–2013)
|Sister channel(s)||Discovery Channel
Oprah Winfrey Network
American Heroes Channel
Discovery Fit & Health
|Dish Network||179 (HD/SD)
|C-Band||AMC 11 – Channel 610 (4DTV Digital)
AMC 18 – Channel 204 (H2H 4DTV)
|Available on most cable providers||Check local listings for channels|
|AT&T U-verse||1335 (HD)
|Verizon FiOS||789 (HD)
|Google Fiber||Check local listings for channel|
The Hub Network (formerly Discovery Kids and The Hub) is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned as a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro. The Hub Network's programming is acquired and produced by Hasbro, and is distributed by Discovery Communications. The channel is marketed as a family-friendly network with a mix of original and acquired children's programs, reruns of older television sitcoms and dramas (particularly during the evening hours) and feature films.
The network originally launched in October 1996 as Discovery Kids, a spin-off of Discovery Channel that featured science, nature, and adventure-themed programs aimed towards children aged between 6 and 11. In April 2009, Hasbro announced a joint venture with Discovery to re-launch the network as a general, youth-oriented network with a "diverse" lineup primarily featuring programming adapted from its own franchises, along with other, family-oriented programs. Discovery Kids officially re-launched as The Hub on October 10, 2010.
On September 25, 2014, following reports earlier in the year that Hub Network president Margaret Loesch would step down by the end of 2014, Discovery announced that it would acquire 10% of Hasbro's stake in the network (giving it a controlling majority), and rebrand the Hub Network as the Discovery Family Channel on October 13, 2014. While Hasbro will continue to provide children's programming for the network, Discovery Family's primetime lineup will be rebuilt around family-oriented factual programming from Discovery Channel's library.
As of August 2013, approximately 72,237,000 American households (63.25% of households with television) receive the Hub Network.
As Discovery Kids
Discovery Communications first launched Discovery Kids in October 1996, as part of a suite of four new digital cable channels which that included Discovery Living, the Discovery Civilization Channel, and Science Channel. Upon its launch, the network primarily offered adventure, nature, and science-themed programs aimed towards a children's audience between ages 6 and 11. Marjorie Kaplan, the network's senior vice president, explained that the creation of Discovery Kids was influenced primarily by kids who were watching its parent network's programming together with their parents. By late-2001, the channel was carried in at least 15 million homes. In September 2001, a Canadian version of Discovery Kids was launched in partnership with Corus Entertainment.
In December 2001, Discovery Kids announced a partnership with NBC, in which it would produce a new Saturday morning block for the network known as Discovery Kids on NBC, beginning in September 2002. The new block would feature programming that meets the FCC's educational programming guidelines, including new original series (such as the reality television series Endurance), existing Discovery Kids programming, along with children's spin-offs of programs from sister networks such as Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. The new block came admist growing synergies between broadcast and cable television, as CBS had recently launched a Nickelodeon-branded block, and ABC would also launch ABC Kids, which featured programming from its cable networks such as Disney Channel and Toon Disney.
With the launch of the new block, Discovery Kids also branched out into animated programming with the premieres of Kenny the Shark and Tutenstein. In March 2006, Discovery declined to renew its contract with NBC for its Saturday morning block, citing a desire to focus exclusively on the Discovery Kids cable channel. Since the launch of the NBC block, Discovery Kids had grown its cable carriage to over 43 million homes. NBC would replace the Discovery Kids block with Qubo in September 2006.
As Hub Network
On April 30, 2009, toy manufacturer and media company Hasbro announced that it would be forming a joint venture with Discovery Communications to re-launch Discovery Kids as a new, family-oriented television channel. Under the arrangement, Discovery would be in charge of handling advertising sales and distribution for the new channel, while Hasbro would be involved in acquiring and producing programming. While the network planned to maintain educational series (including those carried over from Discovery Kids), plans called for new original programs based off Hasbro-owned franchises such as G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers, and game shows adapted from its board game brands.
In January 2010, Discovery and Hasbro announced that the new network would be known as The Hub; two months later, the companies announced that The Hub would officially launch on October 10, 2010. The network planned to continue targeting Discovery Kids' main demographic of children aged 2 through 14 (a market which staff felt was being abandoned by its competitors, such as Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, in favor of tweens), but also planned to feature a primetime block with family-oriented programming. Veteran television executive, and the network's president and chief executive officer Margaret Loesch stated that The Hub's goal was to be "vibrant" and "diverse" in its programming, and that the channel would not purely be a marketing vehicle for Hasbro products.
The Hub officially launched and replaced Discovery Kids on October 10, 2010 at 10:00 AM Eastern/9:00 AM Central; its first program was an episode of The Twisted Whiskers Show. Some of The Hub's launch programming would include the game show Family Game Night, animated series Pound Puppies, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Transformers: Prime, reruns of the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock, and the preschool-oriented programs Cosmic Quantum Ray and The WotWots.
In a June 2011 debt filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Discovery Communications indicated that the channel may be worth less than previously believed, based on low viewership figures. The management of The Hub subsequently underwent a fair value analysis of the channel.
In March 2013, The Hub picked up its first work from POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee's Mighty 7, an animated pilot movie to be aired in early 2014. The network also began to phase in an amended branding as the Hub Network. On January 13, 2014, Hub Network introduced an updated logo and a new imaging campaign, "Making Family Fun".
As Discovery Family Channel
On June 12, 2014, it was reported that Margaret Loesch would step down from her role as Hub Network president and CEO by the end of 2014. On September 17, 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that Discovery Communications was preparing to re-acquire a controlling stake in Hub Network from Hasbro, and re-launch it as Discovery Family. Discovery's CFO Andrew Warren acknowledged that increasing competition in the children's media landscape—especially by subscription video-on-demand services, had an effect on the overall performance of the network. In re-launching Hub Network, there will be a larger emphasis on programming of interest to both children and their parents; Warren argued that since ABC Family had become, in his opinion, aimed towards teenage girls, there was a gap in the broadcasting industry for a new, family-oriented network. It was also reported that with these shifts in Hub Network's operation, Hasbro had intermittently been in talks with Time Warner regarding its future productions.
On September 25, 2014, Discovery Communications officially announced that Hub Network would re-launch as Discovery Family Channel on October 13, 2014, and that it would increase its stake in the network by 10% to 60%. Hasbro will continue to hold a 40% stake in the network, and program the network's daytime lineup with children's programming, while Discovery Family's primetime programming will feature family-oriented factual programming from Discovery's networks. Hasbro's CEO Brian Goldner explained that Discovery Family would be the "next chapter" in its joint venture with Discovery, "[combining] highly-rated award-winning storytelling around Hasbro's brands and Discovery's most popular non-fiction shows that appeal to both children and families alike." Henry Schleiff, who leads sister networks such as Destination America and Investigation Discovery, will lead the re-launched network, with Tom Cosgrove (who previously served as CEO of Discovery Channel and Science Channel) as general manager.
The majority of the Hub Network's programs are animated series and live-action game shows tied to media franchises owned by Hasbro itself, with newer series produced through the Hasbro Studios division, such as Pound Puppies, Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Rescue Bots. Its launch lineup also included Family Game Night, a game show which features adaptations of Hasbro's board games. One of the network's most noteworthy airings has been Hasbro Studios' My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a 2010 animated series (in which Lauren Faust was an executive producer at the beginning) associated with the then-recent reboot of Hasbro's My Little Pony toy franchise, which has not only become its highest-rated program for the intended young girl demographic, but has also attracted an unexpectedly significant cult following among teens and adults. A limited amount of original Discovery Kids programming, such as Adventure Camp and Flight 29 Down, remained on the lineup on launch.
The network has also produced and acquired new original series unrelated to Hasbro properties, including The Aquabats! Super Show!, Dan Vs., Majors & Minors, R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, and SheZow, while two of its launch programs, Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures and The Twisted Whiskers Show, came from American Greetings properties. Hub Network has also aired reruns of other outside series, such as Fraggle Rock, and various Warner Bros. Animation series, such as Batman Beyond, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures.
With its October 2014 re-launch as Discovery Family, the network's primetime programming will be re-aligned around non-fiction programming from the Discovery library, such as Africa, Flying Wild Alaska, and Time Warp.
Various types of programs are broadcast on the Hub Network in programming blocks.
- Hub Primetime – Hub Network features a nighttime lineup (originally called "Hub Family Night" from 2010 to 2013) on Monday-Thursdays from 8:30 PM–6:00 AM Eastern/7:30 PM Eastern/5:00 AM Central, Fridays from 2:00–4:00 AM Eastern/1:00–3:00 AM Central, Saturdays from 1:00–4:00 AM Eastern/12:00–3:00 AM Central and Sundays from 12:00–4:00 AM Eastern/11:00 PM–3:00 AM Central. The nighttime schedule consists primarily of off-network syndicated sitcoms and dramas made prior to 2000, primarily from 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, Debmar-Mercury, CBS Television Distribution and Sony Pictures Television aimed at families and adults. Programs currently airing in this block include Sliders, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Doogie Howser, M.D., ALF, Mork & Mindy, Family Ties, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and Who's the Boss?. Programming originally produced for Hub Network such as Family Game Night, Discovery Kids produced programming and feature films aimed at family audiences also air in primetime in place of the classic television series on Fridays from 7:00 PM–2:00 AM Eastern/6:00 PM–1:00 AM Central, and Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 PM–1:00 AM Eastern/6:00 PM–12:00 AM Central.
- Haunted Hub – This Saturday afternoon block airs from 5:00–7:00 PM Eastern/4:00–6:00 PM Central, and airs suspense/horror-themed programs geared at children that are based on R. L. Stine stories. The programs are Goosebumps and R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. As of June 3, 2013, The Haunted Hub also airs on weekdays from 6:30–7:00 PM Eastern/5:30–6:00 PM Central.
- Huboom! – "Huboom" was originally a late night block of action-themed programming featuring Batman, The Transformers and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero on Monday through Thursdays from 11:30 PM-1:00 AM Eastern/10:30 PM–12:00 AM Central. In June 2012 it relaunched as a weekday action block, airing from 2:00–7:00 PM Eastern/1:00–6:00 PM Central, which featured G.I. Joe: Renegades, Superman: The Animated Series, The Transformers, Transformers: Prime, Transformers: Animated, Batman: The Animated Series, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, Goosebumps, R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour, The Super Hero Squad Show, Transformers: Rescue Bots and G.I. Joe: Sigma 6. Then, in late 2012, Huboom! moved to Saturdays from 12:00 (later 12:30 PM)–5:00 PM Eastern/11:00 (later 11:30 AM)–4:00 PM Central. The block was briefly dropped on April 15, 2013, but returned two weeks later on April 27. Then, the Monday and Tuesday Huboom! blocks were dropped during April and May 2013. After that, the Huboom! logo, bumpers, and promos were phased out when the network revamped itself for the summer of 2013. The weekday, Saturday, and late-night blocks of action shows continue to air, using Hub Network's regular branding and also using Hub Network's "Summer Pool Party" motif. Until May 18, 2013, a two-hour programming block featuring only Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Transformers Prime aired on Tuesday nights under the moniker of "Huboom! Nights". Huboom! Nights was phased out in the summer of 2013, as part of the network's "Summer Pool Party" rebranding.
- HubBub – "HubBub" was a daytime programming block for preschoolers, airing from 10:00–11:30 AM Eastern/9:00–10:30 AM Central. The block existed on account of The Hub's primary target audience of school-age children are usually in school during that time period. Programming in the Hubbub block included The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, Maryoku Yummy, In the Night Garden, Animal Mechanicals and The WotWots. HubBub competed with two preschool program cable channels: Nick Jr. and Sprout, and the program block Disney Junior. It replaced the Ready Set Learn block when Discovery Kids was relaunched as The Hub. The block's bumpers have phased out when the network revamped itself for the 2011-2012 year.
- Saturday Mash Up – This programming block was structured as an all-day block. It had several sub-blocks ("Crack Up", "Smash Up", "Team Up", "Family Prime" and "Family Movie Night"). "Crack Up" was a sub-block featuring animated comedies that aired from 6:00–10:00 AM Eastern/5:00–9:00 AM Central. The action block "Smash Up" aired after it from 10:00 AM–2:00 PM Eastern/9:00 AM–1:00 PM Central. "Team Up" aired from 3:00–5:00 PM Eastern/2:00–4:00 PM Central, with double episodes of Family Game Night. "Family Prime", which featured The Hub's most popular shows, aired from 7:00–9:00 PM Eastern/6:00–8:00 PM Central. The schedule was rounded out by the film block "Family Movie Night", airing from 9:00–11:00 PM Eastern/8:00–10:00 PM Central. This block only lasted for the summer of 2011, and was discontinued that October.
A high-definition simulcast feed of the network that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format is available as Hub Network HD; the feed first began broadcasting with the launch of the network on October 10, 2010, with Dish Network, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse as the first to carry the HD feed. Most cable providers have also picked up the HD simulcast since then.
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- Official website
- Hub Network on Facebook
- Hub Network on Google+
- Hub Network on Twitter
- Hub Network's channel on YouTube