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Nicktoons (American TV channel)

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Nicktoons is an American pay television channel that is owned by Viacom. Geared towards both children aged 6-14,[1] 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.

Nicktoons UK Logo 2010.svg
LaunchedMay 1, 2002; 17 years ago (2002-05-01)
Owned byViacom Media Networks
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersNew York City, New York
Formerly calledNicktoons TV (2002–2003)
Nicktoons Network (2005–2009)
Sister channel(s)Nickelodeon
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
DirecTVChannel 302 (SD)
Dish NetworkChannel 178 (SD)
Cox CommunicationsChannel 245 (SD)
Channel 1245 (HD)
Verizon FiOSChannel 254 (SD)
Channel 754 (HD)
AT&T U-VerseChannel 318 (SD)
Channel 1318 (HD)
Streaming media
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
PhiloInternet Protocol television

As of September 2018, approximately 56.9 million American households (51.3% of households with television) received Nicktoons.[2]



Nicktoons Network typeface, (2005–09)

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.[citation needed] 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 to carry regular advertising.[citation needed]

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.[3] 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.[4][5] 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 instead before eventually being fully redirected to the domain.


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.


On September 3, 2014, a two-hour Wednesday prime time programming block named NickSports was launched on the channel, tying into the Kids' Choice Sports Awards inaugurated that year.[6] The block presented mainly licensed programming focusing on sports, including the Rob Dyrdek-starring Wild Grinders and NFL Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, along with sports-related feature films such as Bend It Like Beckham, Cool Runnings, and Space Jam.[6] Sometime in 2015, the block was moved to a Friday prime time slot. The block ended in September 2018.

International versionsEdit

Nicktoons was launched in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2002;[7] although, unlike the United States version, it has been an advertiser-supported channel since its launch. Previously unlike the U.S. version, it did not broadcast 24 hours a day until January 1, 2019 when the channel went 24/7. There are also other Nicktoons channels in Flanders, the Netherlands and Germany replacing Nick Premium. A Latin America version of Nicktoons was launched on February 4, 2013.[8][9] An African version of Nicktoons was launched on September 30, 2014 along with Nick Jr.[10] A Middle Eastern version of Nicktoons was launched on February 15, 2017.[11] Nicktoons was also launched in Turkey on 20 February 2017, and launched in Poland on February 15, 2018.[12] A Central and Eastern Europe version of Nicktoons was launched on April 1, 2019.[13]

Other mediaEdit

The Nicktoons brand also extends to other media, such as video games featuring Nicktoons characters (such as Nicktoons Unite!, Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island, Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots, and Nicktoons: Globs of Doom).[14]


From 2006 until 2009, Nicktoons Network used a robot mascot in bumpers and advertisements for the channel.[15] 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."[16] ACOW was prominently featured on the website[17] and was used as part of the "Nicktoons Network: Animation Capital of the World" logo.[18] Several similar-looking eyeball-based characters were seen in promos for the network.


  1. ^ "Viacom".
  2. ^ "Nielsen coverage estimates for September see gains at ESPN networks, NBCSN, and NBA TV, drops at MLBN and NFLN". Awful Announcing. Awful Announcing. September 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Nickelodeon Unveils New Logo,, July 29, 2009
  4. ^ "DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q3-13 Thread)". DBSTalk. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Official AVS National HD Channel Lineups - Cable/DBS/Fiber/IPTV - Updated 8/3/13". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b Dickson, Jeremy (September 3, 2014). "Nicktoons adds weekly sports block". Kidscreen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Mason, Tania. "BRANDING: Nicktoons to target younger audience". Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  8. ^ "C21Media". C21Media.
  9. ^ TV News Desk. "Viacom Int'l Launches NICKTOONS in Mexico on Cablevision, Megacable & Cablemas".
  10. ^ "Nick Jr. and Nicktoons to launch in South Africa". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Nicktoons to launch in the Middle East and North Africa". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Nicktoons wchodzi do Polski. Nowy kanał Viacomu dla dzieci w wieku 4-10 lat". VirtualNEMedia (in Polish). 2017-12-04.
  13. ^ "Nicktoons to launch in the Central and Eastern Europe". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  14. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends Unite!". Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Nicktoons Network Homepage, 2009". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009.
  16. ^ "Nickelodeon's ACOW -".
  17. ^ "2007 / ACOW on Nicktoons - Carlos Ordonez". Archived from the original on 13 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Animation Capital of the World - Viacom".

External linksEdit