Who knew that kids would go ga-ga over a cartoon sponge with square pants? Nickelodeon operates a leading cable channel for kids that reaches about 100 million domestic households. Its top programs include
Dora the Explorer, iCarly
During primetime and late night hours, the channel aims at an older crowd with its Nick At Nite programming block which includes such classic comedies as
The Cosby Show, Home Improvement
. Along with its flagship network, Nickelodeon oversees Nick Jr., a commercial-free educational channel for children, as well as several online destinations designed for kids. The company is part of
, a subsidiary of media giant
Sales and Marketing
A pioneer in kid's programming, Nickelodeon is facing increased competition for young teen and 'tween viewers from
Nickelodeon fills an important programming niche within Viacom's stable of cable channels, generating revenue primarily through advertising and carriage fees paid by cable system operators such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The company has capitalized on the popularity of its children's shows to create new revenue streams through licensed merchandise, DVDs, and other spin-off products. Nickelodeon has also reached into the feature film market.
The kid's channel was launched in 1979 as Pinwheel, a programming block focused on preschool children. By 1984 it was renamed Nickelodeon and began branching out to other age groups under the direction of MTV creator Bob Pittman.