The Nickelodeon Success Story

Published: 16th October 2009
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The Nickelodoen Network For Kids is today amongst the top grossing cable channels in the United States, and is beyond doubt the most-watched kids' network in history. In addition to that, it has been expanded into an international cable giant, which local adaptations running in parts of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Russia. But despite its massive stature and current level of success, "Nick" as it is playfully called, is a fairly new network on the scene and has an eventful but short history.

The network was given the name "Nickelodeon" when Viacom first bought it in 1981. Prior to that time it had been called Pinwheel, which ran from its debut in 1977 until 1981. Pinwheel ran for only 6 hours a day, because of a lack of quality kids' programming but also because there were fewer viewers during school hours. As soon as Viacom bought out the network, they increased the air time from six hours to twelve hours, going from eight AM until eight PM, but leaving the old Pinwheel staff in their positions.

Come 1984, Nickelodeon was dead last amongst cable networks in terms of ratings, and was over $40 million in the hole. The President of MTV Networks, the division of Viacom that ran not only MTV but also other networks like Nickelodeon, replaced the staff and ordered a rebranding of the network, enlisting the aid of some of the masterminds behind MTV's rise to success. They created a new "splat" logo whose infamy persists to this day; new jingles; new promotional ID clips; and created new content with help of new writers, producers, and animators. The network was given a full makeover and within 6 months was number 1 amongst cable networks.

It's a good thing for us that Nickelodeon was rescued. Nick provides some of the most valuable kids' programming in existence, offering both entertainment and educational value. Their programming always makes my children smile and teaches them something valuable whenever they watch.


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