Nicktoons (TV channel)
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|Launched||May 1, 2002|
|Owned by||Viacom Media Networks
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Action to the Maxtion|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
Nick at Nite (Nickelodeon block)
|Dish Network||178 (SD)|
|Available on most cable providers||Check local listings for details|
|Verizon FiOS||754 (HD)
|AT&T U-Verse||1318 (HD)
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
Nicktoons is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Nickelodeon Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel broadcasts original animated series from sister network Nickelodeon, known as Nicktoons, along with other original animated series, some feature films, and foreign animated programs from Nickelodeon's international networks 24 hours a day.
As of February 2015, approximately 66.5 million American households (57.2% of households with television) receive Nicktoons.
Nicktoons was launched on May 1, 2002, as Nicktoons TV, part of the digital cable-exclusive MTV Digital Suite, in order to entice cable operators to pick up the network and give them a marketing advantage over satellite services. However, by early 2004, Nickelodeon management changed course and offered it to digital satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network. The network was originally marketed as commercial-free, with comedic promos involving Nickelodeon Animation Studios, two-minute cartoon shorts from foreign markets, and former program promotions which had previously been used on Nickelodeon taking up commercial time. By June 6, 2005, as the network's distribution increased, the network began airing regular advertising.
On September 28, 2009, the network's logo changed as part of Nickelodeon's universal rebranding effort that also saw Nickelodeon's first logo change in 25 years, and name changes for sister networks: The N to TeenNick and Noggin to Nick Jr. In conjunction with this, the "Network" identifier was dropped, leaving the network to be rebranded as Nicktoons for the second time.
An HD feed was launched on August 13, 2013, and is available on several providers. Like Viacom's other HD channels, any programming produced in 4:3 SD is pillarboxed on this feed. As the network has blended in more Nickelodeon programming into its schedule, the Nicktoons website was sunsetted, recommending viewers go to Nick.com instead.
On September 3, 2014, the NickSports two hour Wednesday prime time programming block was launched on the channel. The block consisted of a blend of sports themed programs and was inspired by the success of Nick's first and successful Kids’ Choice Sports awards.
Despite the channel's name, Nicktoons is not exclusively limited to airing Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's branding for its original animated television series (a brand that has seldom been used by Nickelodeon itself since the launch of the Nicktoons channel). The channel has engaged in channel drift throughout its existence, increasingly adding action-oriented programming that was never seen on Nickelodeon, and even live-action programs in recent years. Like sister network TeenNick, it is also used as a 'burn off' channel for failed or low-rated series (mainly animated) previously ordered for and airing on the main Nickelodeon network, along with outside series popular in overseas markets where Viacom is required to purchase worldwide rights for, but are not expected to rate well in the United States.
NickSports is a two hour Wednesday prime time programming block inspired by the success of Nick's first and successful Kids’ Choice Sports awards. On September 3, 2014, the block was launch on the channel. Initial programming for the block consisted of new episodes from Wild Grinders season two and NFL Rush Zone season three. Little Ballers documentary about an Amateur Athletic Union team as they compete for a national championship would also premiere on the block amongst other long and short form works. Notable movies scheduled to be seen during the block were Bend it Like Beckham, Cool Runnings, Space Jam and Speed Racer.
Nicktoons was launched in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2002; although, unlike the United States version, it has been an advertiser-supported channel since its launch. Also unlike the U.S. version, it does not broadcast 24 hours a day. There are also other Nicktoons channels in Flanders, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain replacing Nick Premium. A Latin America version of Nicktoons was launched on February 4, 2013. An Africa version of Nicktoons was launched on September 30, 2014 along with Nick Jr.
The Nicktoons brand also extends to other media, such as video games featuring Nicktoons characters.
From 2006 until 2009, Nicktoons Network used a robot mascot in bumpers and advertisements for the channel. The mascot, named "ACOW," which stands for Animation Capital of the World was a complex robot character with a large singular eye, animated using "photo-puppetry." ACOW was prominently featured on the NicktoonsNetwork.com website and was used as part of the "Nicktoons Network: Animation Capital of the World" logo. Several similar-looking eyeball-based characters were seen in promos for the network.
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