Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which was first tested on December 1, 1977, until it eventually launched on April 1, 1979, as the first cable channel for children. It is owned by ViacomCBS through its domestic networks division and is based in New York City. Its programming is primarily aimed at children aged 2–17, while some of its program blocks target a broader family audience.
The channel was first tested in 1977 as part of QUBE, an early cable television system broadcast locally in Columbus, Ohio. QUBE's Channel C-3 aired Pinwheel, an educational show developed by Vivian Horner. Pinwheel performed well with QUBE subscribers, and Horner sought to expand her program into a full channel on national television. The channel, now named Nickelodeon, launched to a new countrywide audience on April 1, 1979, with Pinwheel as its inaugural program. The network was initially commercial-free and remained without advertising until 1984. QUBE's owner, Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, eventually sold Nickelodeon, along with its sister networks MTV and VH1, to Viacom in 1986.
Throughout its history, Nickelodeon has introduced sister channels and themed programming blocks. On January 4, 1988, Nickelodeon launched Nick Jr., a weekday-morning block aimed at preschool children. On August 11, 1991, it introduced another flagship brand, the Nicktoons: original animated productions created specifically for the network. The Nicktoons brand introduced its own sister channel, launched in 2002. In 1999, Nickelodeon partnered with Sesame Workshop to create Noggin, an educational brand consisting of a cable channel and an interactive website. Two blocks aimed at a teenage audience, TEENick (previously on Nickelodeon) and The N (previously on Noggin), were merged into a standalone channel, TeenNick, in 2009.
As of September 2018, the channel is available to about 87.167 million households in the United States.
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