BabyFirst is an American TV channel that produces and distributes content for babies' ages 0-3 and their parents through television, the internet, and mobile applications. The channel is owned by First Media. The content is intended to develop an infant's skills, such as color recognition, counting and vocabulary.
|Launched||May 11, 2006|
|Owned by||First Media|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
720p (HDTV) 16:9 Letterbox
|Slogan||Watch Your Baby Blossom It Takes Two To Blossom|
|Language||English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Turkish, German, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Arabic, and Hebrew|
|Broadcast area||United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Canada, Central America, Caribbean, South America , Africa, Oceania|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|DirecTV (United States)||293 (SD)|
|Dish Network (United States)||823|
|Sky (Latin America)||327|
|Dish Home (Nepal)||802|
|OrangeTV (Indonesia)||Channel 303|
|XFINITY/Comcast||Channel 125/ 314|
|Suddenlink Communications (USA)||309|
|UPC Polska (Poland)||667|
|ZON TVCabo (Portugal)||46|
|First Media (Indonesia)||128|
|Parasat Cable TV (Cagayan de Oro)||103|
|Unifi TV (Malaysia)||Channel 561|
|Channel 170 (SD)|
|CHT MOD (Taiwan)||112|
|Macau Cable TV (Macau)||732|
|Verizon FiOS (United States)||765 (HD)|
1719 (Spanish feed)
|Amazon Fire TV (USA)||118|
BabyFirst was founded in 2004 by Guy Oranim and Sharon Rechter. The network was launched on May 11, 2006 on DirecTV and made available through EchoStar's Dish Network that June. The network is based in Los Angeles and was initially funded by Regency Enterprises (a Hollywood movie studio), Kardan (a holding company) and Bellco Capital (a private fund). BabyFirst was controversial as the first 24-hour channel for children six months to three years in age, but it was popular among parents and grew quickly.
In the 2000s, the Federal Trade Commission responded to a complaint by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood alleging that BabyFirst's advertising that it helped babies develop skills was misleading. The FTC did not impose any sanctions.
By 2008, it was broadcasting in ten territories in the Asia Pacific, such as China and Korea. In October 2008, SingTel started distributing the channel to the Singapore audience. It was also being broadcast in Africa and Latin America. In May 2008, it signed a distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable. In 2009, HBO Asia became the exclusive distributor for the channel in Asia.
In 2011, BabyFirst obtained agreements to distribute the channel in the United Kingdom through the BSkyB satellite network as well as in Mexico through Sky Mexico and Cablevision. A French version was introduced with CanalSat in 2011. By the end of 2011, it had arranged broadcasting agreements throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.
In 2013, former ABC Network President Steven McPherson and Rich Frank, the former chairman of Disney Channel became investors and board members as the company worked to develop new content and improve advertising revenues. In May 2014, BabyFirst and AT&T U-verse released a co-developed second-screen app for mobile devices for children to interact with the television programming through tablets or smartphones.
BabyFirst's television channel provides 24-hour programming for babies. About 90 percent of the 90 shows BabyFirst produces are original content created at its studios. Acquired programs include Shape A Majigs, Mio Mao, Ready Dress Go, Squeak!, Tec the Tractor, Suzy's Zoo, Color Crew, and Rainbow Horse. The format of the network limits each of the network's presentations to three to five minutes of length that are either live-action or animated.
- Color Crew
- Harry the Bunny
- Ready, Dress, Go!
- Rainbow Horse
- ABC Galaxy
- Peekaboo, I See You!
- Shape School
- The Notekins
- Rise and Shine
- BabyFirst Club
- Baby First Favorites
- Developmental Programs for Baby
- Mama & Me Tot School
- BabyFirst Bedtime
- Baby's Best
- Early Bloomers
The New York Times described the content as "decidedly unhurried," making extensive use of bright colors and upbeat music. Programming development is guided by child psychology experts and is designed to encourage a child's skills development, such as counting, vocabulary and color recognition. The BabyFirst logo in the corner changes colors to indicate the skills a segment is intended to develop. Late-night programming is intended to lull viewers to sleep.
Some experts argue that exposing children to television at such an early age is taking technology too far or that parents are using BabyFirst as a digital babysitter. Parents in-turn refute that argument, claiming that experts have lost touch with the realities of raising a child. BabyFirst suggests the programming is intended to be watched by parents and their children together in an interactive way.
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- Wong, Christine (November 1, 2008). "Crossing the channels: despite the economic crisis, this year has seen a slew of new channels roll out in the region, with some still set to launch". Television Asia.
- "BabyFirstTV on SingTel's mio TV". Television Asia. October 1, 2008.
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- Flint, Joe. "It's Really Here: TV for Babies". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "HBO Asia strikes agreement to represent BabyFirst, WarnerTV across Asia". Television Asia. December 1, 2009.
- Brennan, Steve (March 2006, 2011). "BabyFirstTV crawls its way to U.S." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2014. Check date values in:
- Proudfoot, Shannon (July 27, 2012). "24-hour TV for kids under 3 is on the air". Winnipeg Free Press.
- Vlessing, Etan (July 26, 2012). "BabyFirst crawling onto Canadian TV". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Moore, Frazier (February 21, 2012). "Comcast to start new minority-owned cable channels". Associated Press.
- "Comcast Outlines Plan to Carry 4 Minority-Owned Channels". The New York Times. p. 2. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Getzler, Wendy (December 9, 2013). "With Rich Frank on-board, BabyFirst kicks into ad mode". Kidscreen. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Baumgartner, Jeff (May 8, 2014). "AT&T, BabyFirst Team On U-verse App". Multichannel News.
- Taylor, Kate (August 8, 2007). "Ok, I admit it: Treehouse is a parent's dream". Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
- "Baby Boom: Profile: BabyFirst". Spring 2014.
- Proudfoot, Shannon (July 27, 2007). "New network for the newly born; Commercial-free, 24-hour station for babies to launch in Canada". The Star Phoenix. pp. B8. Archived from the original on 2014-08-09.
- Karen Brooks (2008). Consuming Innocence: Popular Culture and Our Children. Univ. of Queensland Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-7022-3645-7.
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