qubo, the new television and multimedia network for children that champions literacy and positive values, launched its dedicated 24/7 digital channel at 6:00 a.m. ET today across ION Media Networks’ nationwide television station group. The digital network debuts with an expanded line-up featuring the popular children’s programming currently airing on qubo’s analog blocks and the addition of eight popular titles from the libraries of qubo’s leading content partners, including Nelvana’s “Pecola,” NBC Universal’s “Boo!” and Classic Media’s “Theodore Tugboat.”
“We are fortunate to be working side-by-side with Scholastic, Corus, Classic and NBC Universal on launching qubo’s 24-hour digital platform across our TV station group,” said Brandon Burgess, President and CEO of ION Media Networks. “qubo has already found a loyal audience on analog broadcast, and now with its own dedicated channel, is well poised to become a popular destination for children and their parents in the digital age. We are also in active discussions with multichannel operators to secure additional carriage that will expand qubo’s reach in other markets around the country.”
qubo, which initially debuted in September 2006 as analog programming blocks on NBC, ION Media Networks’ i network and Telemundo, has delivered strong ratings performances. For the recently completed fourth quarter, qubo on NBC is up 51 percent in Kids 2-11 versus the same period a year ago. In addition, qubo’s December 29th performance on ION’s main network delivered increases in Kids 2-11 of 170 percent versus the premiere week and 98 percent versus the previous week. Kids 6-11 increased 121 percent over premiere week and 19 percent from the previous week.
“Since qubo’s September debut, we’ve received significant positive feedback from parents thanking us for providing a much-needed safe television environment for kids and families,” said qubo President and General Manager Rick Rodriguez. “With the launch of the new 24-hour channel, we’ve created a trustworthy destination that families can tune into any time of the day with over a dozen series that educate, enlighten and entertain today’s children.”
qubo’s digital channel has launched with a rolling four-hour block of quality children’s programming that will soon be expanded into six-hours with the addition of new programming from third party providers. The initial schedule will feature Scholastic’s “Dragon”; “Nelvana’s “Babar,” “Elliott Moose,” “Jane and the Dragon,” “Jacob Two-Two,” “Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse,” “Pecola” and “Rupert”; Classic Media’s “VeggieTales,” “3-2-1 Penguins! and Larry Boy Stories,” “Lambchop’s Play Along,” and “Theodore Tugboat”; and NBC Universal’s “Boo!,” “Shelly Duvall’s Bedtime Stories” and “Sitting Ducks.” The new channel also features regular interstitial content reinforcing positive messages geared to children and parents, including Scholastic’s “READING… EVERYBODY’S DOING IT!” spots that celebrate the joys of reading and literacy.
Additionally, the Spanish-language version of qubo’s branded website (www.qubo.com
) was launched in December 2006. Future platform launches include an enhanced interactive website and VOD services.
Launched in September 2006, qubo is a multiplatform entertainment destination for children that focuses on literacy and values and celebrates the unlimited possibilities of a child’s imagination. qubo was formed in May 2006 by an unprecedented alliance of leading distribution partners and content players in children’s television, including ION Media Networks, NBC Universal, Scholastic, Corus Entertainment and Classic Media. The network is currently broadcast in both English and Spanish on NBC Saturday mornings, ION’s flagship network Friday afternoons and Telemundo weekend mornings, and debuted as a 24/7 digital broadcast channel across ION’s nationwide station group on January 8, 2007. Future offerings include an expanded interactive website and video-on-demand services. For more information, visit www.qubo.com
About ION Media Networks
ION Media Networks, Inc. owns and operates the nation’s largest broadcast television station group, reaching over 90 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems. For more information, please visit www.ionmedia.tv
About NBC Universal
NBC Television Network and Telemundo are units of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric and 20%-owned by Vivendi Universal.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials and toys. Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., is a leading producer of quality, family-oriented feature films, television programming, videos, interactive media and web sites and is a major developer and marketer of children’s brands worldwide. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company’s Internet site, www.scholastic.com
About Classic Media/Big Idea
Classic Media is America’s largest private owner of kids and family entertainment. Classic’s library includes more than 4,000 popular and award-winning movie, TV, book and comic titles. The company’s rich content library includes some of the world’s most trusted names in literary and values-based entertainment, including Golden Books (The Poky Little Puppy, pat the bunny), Dr. Seuss’ Gerald McBoing Boing (currently airing on the Cartoon Network), Little Lulu (HBO Family), Lassie (Discovery Networks) and Big Idea’s VeggieTales, among many others. Classic’s Big Idea division is recognized as the leading producer and creator of values-based family product. Best known for its award-winning VeggieTales animated series, which has sold more than 50 million videos since 1993, Big Idea is committed to providing entertaining stories that help families teach children important life lessons in a delightfully wacky way. For more information, please visit us at www.bigidea.com
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment is a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and digital audio services, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com