Nickelodeon Network: History

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, MTV Networks
  • Pages : 5 (2179 words )
  • Download(s) : 330
  • Published : November 7, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The Industrial Background of Nickelodeon

The Nickelodeon network’s history revolves around the simple idea of providing safe entertainment for kids. The network’s pre-history began in 1977 when the first two-way interactive cable TV system, QUBE, was launched by Warner Cable. One of the specialized channels offered to subscribers was called Pinwheel, a channel focused on children’s programming. In 1979, Pinwheel was relaunched as the Nickelodeon network, and thus, Nickelodeon was born. Nickelodeon’s history spans from 1979 to present day and has undergone multiple changes while still remaining loyal to children’s entertainment. This essay will explore Nickelodeon’s early struggle, rise to power, and rebranding plans for the future. Nickelodeon’s early years began relatively unsuccessful, as the network struggled to keep both parents and children happy and entertained, yet critically transformed itself by changing one factor in its branding strategy. From 1979 to 1984, Nickelodeon was not well received for one main reason: the network branded itself as “green vegetable” television- primarily understood as beneficial for children by parents, but not by the children themselves. (1) This strategy put Nickelodeon dead-last among its competition and brought with it such low subscription rates that it could no longer survive. Thus, in 1983, Warmer-Amex Satellite Entertainment fired all Nickelodeon staff and brought in their MTV visionaries, Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman, to reinvigorate the network which began by a change in Nickelodeon’s logo to an iconic orange “splat” with “Nickelodeon” printed in white across it. In 1984, Geraldine Laybourne became Nickelodeon’s general manager and transformed the network in two interrelated ways: the network began accepting commercial sponsorship, and thus advertising became a key element in its programming, and it adopted a new mission statement and overall philosophy that has since become its unique signature and contribution to children’s television, a promise that Nickelodeon is a “kids first” or “kids only” network (4). This dynamic change promoted Nickelodeon as not only a safe place for children’s programming, but as a place that understood children differently than the rest of the world. Thus, Nickelodeon had branded itself as the first network that was dedicated to empowering children with an emphasis on escaping the dynamic where childhood is defined as a means to affirm adult identity. Within six months of the rebranding, Nickelodeon went from worst to first and has stayed there for more than 25 years even with increasing competition from other family-oriented cable channels such as Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. (7) In fact, the orange splat logo itself had remained alongside Nickelodeon from 1984 to 2009, showing the change’s success within history. To present day, Nickelodeon has remained faithful to its philosophies while continuing to offer new and innovating programming to its young audience. From 1985 to 2009, Nickelodeon became an independent network after being sold to Viacom (along with MTV), opened its own studio, and began programming specialized blocks. In accordance with Nickelodeon’s previously stated grounded philosophies, the network pledged to children that “Nickelodeon is what kids want, not just what adults think kids want,” and “Nickelodeon is always there, from breakfast to bedtime, every day, whenever kids want to watch. Nick is their home base, a place kids can count on and trust.” (4) To provide 24-hour entertainment, Nickelodeon released different blocks from 1985 onwards including Nick at Night (1985), Nick Jr. (1988), Nick Toons (1991), and SNICK (1992). These blocks and programs were all geared to children of all ages from pre-school to teenagers and even adults. In 1990, Nickelodeon opened Nickelodeon Studio’s, a television studio/attraction at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, Florida where it began filming its many sitcoms and game...
tracking img