Qubo (/ˈkjuːboʊ/ KEW-boh; stylized as qubo) is an American free-to-air children's entertainment programming service. Qubo consists of a 24-hour television network, alternately known as Qubo Channel (which is available as a digital terrestrial television on owned-and-operated stations and some affiliates of corporate sister Ion Television, and on some pay television providers), a video on demand service, and the branding of a weekly programming block on Ion Television under the name "Qubo Kids Corner".
|Launched||September 9, 2006|
|Owned by||Ion Media Networks|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Where the fun begins.|
|Broadcast area||Nationwide |
(U.S. coverage: 63%)
|Sister channel(s)||Ion Television|
|Affiliated with Ion Television owned-and-operated and affiliated stations in most markets||See list of affiliates|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 491|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 328|
|National feed available on select other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
In May 2006, Ion Media Networks, NBC Universal (which owned a 32% interest in Ion Media at the time), Corus Entertainment, Scholastic Corporation and Classic Media (now part of NBCUniversal's DreamWorks Animation) announced plans to launch a new, multi-platform children's entertainment brand known as Qubo, oriented towards providing "educational, values-oriented programming" targeted towards children between 4 and 18 years of age. The brand would encompass programming blocks on NBC Universal and Ion's respective flagship broadcast television networks (NBC, Telemundo and Ion Television), a video on demand service, a website, and a standalone 24-hour network to be carried as a digital subchannel on terrestrial television stations owned by Ion Media Networks and by pay-television providers.
Qubo president Rick Rodríguez (who formerly served as a programming executive at Discovery Communications) explained in a 2008 interview with Multichannel News that Qubo was designed as a bilingual brand, offering programming in both English and Spanish. While Qubo would initially carry Spanish-language dubs of its programming for its Telemundo block, Rodríguez did not outrule the possibility of developing original children's programming tailored to Hispanic audiences through Qubo in the future. He felt that the market for Spanish-language children's programming had been underserved by existing outlets (such as Telemundo and Univision), and envisioned the possibility of programming which could "bridge the gap" and educate Spanish-speaking children on the English language, and vice versa.
The Qubo brand was intended to represent a "building block for kids," as reflected by its logo. The name "Qubo" was chosen because it had a "fun" sound, and was usable in both English and Spanish.
Qubo launched on September 9, 2006, with the premiere of weekend morning blocks on NBC (which aired exclusively on Saturday mornings, replacing Discovery Kids on NBC, a weekly block programmed by the Discovery Kids cable network) and Telemundo (which aired on both Saturday and Sunday mornings). That was followed on September 15 by the introduction of a daytime block on i: Independent Television (now Ion Television), which initially aired on Friday afternoons. At launch, its programming included the first-run animated series Dragon (produced by Scholastic) and Jane and the Dragon (produced by Corus subsidiary Nelvana), along with VeggieTales and its spinoffs 3-2-1 Penguins! and Larryboy: The Cartoon Adventures (produced by Classic Media subsidiary Big Idea) – marking the first time that VeggieTales had ever been broadcast as a television program.
VeggieTales and its spin-offs incorporated lessons related to Christian teachings; initially, this religious content was edited out of the original VeggieTales broadcasts on Qubo at the request of NBC's standards and practices department. The move, however, drew criticism from the conservative watchdog group Parents Television Council, which filed a complaint against NBC. A representative for NBC replied in a statement that the editing conformed to guidelines within the network's broadcast standards "not to advocate any one religious point of view". VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer also expressed discontent with the edits, stating that he was not informed that religious content would be removed from the series, and that he would have refused to sign a contract with Qubo if he had known of the decision beforehand. Vischer said, "I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money." Still, Vischer added that he understood NBC's wish to remain religiously neutral, and said, "VeggieTales is religious, NBC is not. I want to focus people more on 'Isn't it cool that Bob and Larry are on television?'"
In December 2006, a Spanish-language version of the Qubo website was launched. A companion digital subchannel network, Qubo Channel, launched on Ion Media Networks' terrestrial stations on January 8, 2007, initially featuring a schedule of children's programming in rolling four-hour blocks; Ion intended to seek carriage of the channel on pay-television providers. In May of that year, NBCUniversal sold its minority stake in Ion Media Networks to Citadel LLC. On December 3, 2007, Qubo Channel expanded its programming offerings to include shows from other producers, as well as some programs that were already airing on Ion Television's Qubo block. In addition, the rolling schedule was expanded to a six-hour block, which repeated four times per day.
In January 2008, Ion Media Networks and Comcast reached an agreement to continue carrying Ion's digital terrestrial channels, including Qubo and Ion Life. In August 2008, Qubo introduced guidelines for advertisers in an effort to help combat childhood obesity, committing to only accept advertisements for products which meet nutritional guidelines determined by the network in collaboration with childhood obesity expert Goutham Rao. Qubo also began to air a series of public service announcements featuring characters from its programs in collaboration with the Ad Council, the United States Olympic Committee and the Department of Health and Human Services, advocating exercise and healthy living.
In May 2009, Ion Media Networks filed an inquiry with the Federal Communications Commission to seek must-carry subscription-television carriage to expand Qubo's distribution to other providers. Later in May 2010, Ion signed carriage agreements with Advanced Cable Communications and Blue Ridge Communications, as well as deal with Comcast's Colorado Springs system to add Qubo on the providers' digital tiers.
With the acquisition of NBCUniversal by Comcast, it was announced on March 28, 2012, that NBC and Telemundo would discontinue their Qubo blocks and replace them with NBC Kids and MiTelemundo. Both blocks would be programmed by PBS Kids Sprout, a preschool-oriented television network that came under NBC ownership as part of the merger – on July 7; leaving Ion Television as the only remaining network with a Qubo-branded programming block (with Ion Media acquiring NBCUniversal's interest in the venture). At the time, PBS Kids Sprout was a competing joint venture between Comcast, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop; NBCUniversal acquired full ownership of the cable network in November 2013, and PBS Kids Sprout suddenly became simply Sprout as a result. Sprout eventually became Universal Kids in 2017.
Ion Media Networks acquired the stakes in Qubo held by Classic Media (which became DreamWorks Classics in 2012, after its acquisition by DreamWorks Animation), Scholastic and Corus Entertainment in 2013, with all three companies retaining program distribution partnerships with the network. The Qubo block on Ion Television was renamed as the "Qubo Kids Corner" on January 4, 2015, concurrent with the block's move from Friday to Sunday mornings.
Qubo Channel features archived content from the programming libraries of Corus Entertainment, DreamWorks Classics and Scholastic Corporation, with its programs targeted at children ages 2 to 15. Though there was an early promise of the three companies - NBC, Universal and Ion Media - to produce a new series for the network and program block each year, Qubo only produced two original series, Turbo Dogs and My Friend Rabbit, with the former airing from 2008 to 2011 and the latter airing from 2007 to 2008. Qubo Channel regularly broadcasts series aimed at preschoolers during the morning and afternoon hours, while series aimed at older children are featured as part of the network's evening and midnight schedule.
Programming on Qubo Channel and its companion Ion Television block account for all educational programming content on Ion Television's owned-and-operated stations and certain Ion affiliates that carry the 24-hour channel, relieving the network from the responsibility of carrying programs compliant with guidelines dictated by the Children's Television Act on its other subchannel services (especially those that simulcast the Home Shopping Network and QVC, two networks that by virtue of their primary distribution via cable and satellite television, are exempt from the guidelines).
On September 28, 2010, Qubo Channel launched "Qubo Night Owl", (running from 12:00 to 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time) featuring classic animated series, many of which came from the Filmation library owned by DreamWorks Animation (currently owned by NBCUniversal). The block was restructured in August 2013 to feature a mix of animated and live-action series sourced solely from Qubo's distribution partners. The block appeared for the final time on January 7, 2019, as it was replaced with infomercials the following day. As of January 8, 2019, the screen bug for Qubo Night Owl only appears during the midnight hour (12AM).
As of November 2015, Qubo has current and pending affiliation agreements with 67 television stations encompassing 34 states and the District of Columbia. The network has an estimated national reach of 58.83% of all households in the United States (or 183,832,858 Americans with at least one television set). Like parent network Ion Television, the network's stations almost exclusively consist of network-owned stations (with the exception of Louisville, Kentucky affiliate WBNA). Qubo's programming is available by default via a national feed that is distributed directly to cable and satellite providers in markets without a local Ion Television station that carries the network.
Qubo does not have any over-the-air stations in several major markets, most notably Baltimore, Maryland; Toledo, Ohio; San Diego, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Cincinnati, Ohio. A key factor in the network's limited national broadcast coverage is the fact that Ion Media Networks does not actively seek over-the-air distribution for the network on the digital subchannels of other network-affiliated stations (in contrast, its parent network Ion Television – which had similarly limited national coverage following the digital television transition – has begun subchannel-only affiliation arrangements through agreements with NBC Owned Television Stations' Telemundo Station Group subsidiary and Media General during 2014 and 2015), with very few stations that contractually carry the network's programming (with limited exceptions in markets such as Louisville, Kentucky and Anchorage, Alaska). As a result, Ion Media Networks owns the vast majority of the stations within Qubo's affiliate body.
3-2-1 Penguins! is a sci-fi computer-animated children's television series aimed at children under 12, initially launched on November 14, 2000 as a direct-to-video film. The series was originally produced direct-to-video similar to the other Big Idea Entertainment series, VeggieTales, and videos were released between 2000 and 2003. The direct-to-video series held the top spot on the Soundscan kid video sales charts for its first 18 weeks of release, and has sold 1.5 million videos to date and was the #1 seller on Christian Booksellers Association's video list in 2001.The 3-2-1 Penguins television series appeared on the Qubo blocks on NBC, Ion Television and Telemundo as well as the Qubo channel. It ran for three original seasons, with the first season consisting of television broadcasts of the home videos, and continued in reruns until 2012. The series was the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked show on NBC's Qubo Saturday morning kids block in 2008.Babar (TV series)
Babar is a Canadian/French animated television series produced in Canada by Nelvana Limited and The Clifford Ross Company. It premiered in 1989 on CBC and HBO, and subsequently was rerun on Qubo since 2006. The series is based on Jean de Brunhoff's original Babar books, and was Nelvana's first international co-production. The series' 78 episodes have been broadcast in 30 languages in over 150 countries.
This was the first regular series based on the Babar books; prior to this, two previous Babar specials narrated by Peter Ustinov were produced by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez for NBC: The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant on October 21, 1968, and Babar Comes to America on September 7, 1971.While the French author Laurent de Brunhoff pronounces the name Babar as "BUH-bar", the series in its first five seasons pronounces the name as "BAB-bar".In 2010, a computer-animated sequel series spin-off of Babar titled Babar and the Adventures of Badou was launched on Disney Junior. The new series takes place several years and focuses on a majority of new characters including Badou, Babar's grandson and Pom's son.Children's programming on NBC
Children's programming has played a part in NBC's programming since its initial roots in television. This article outlines the history of children's television programming on NBC including the various blocks and notable programs that have aired throughout the television network's history.Discovery Kids on NBC
Discovery Kids on NBC was an American children's programming block that aired on NBC from September 14, 2002 to September 2, 2006. The block was produced under a time-lease agreement with Discovery Kids, and featured a mix of live-action and animated series originated on the cable network that met educational programming requirements defined by the Federal Communications Commission.Fiat Fiorino
The Fiat Fiorino is a small commercial vehicle produced by the Italian car manufacturer Fiat since 1977. Its first two generations have been the panel van derivatives of other small models, such as the Fiat 127 and Fiat Uno, while the current third generation was developed jointly with PSA Peugeot Citroën, and is based on the Fiat Small platform.
The current generation, the Sevel LAV, is also built with a passenger body style, as the Fiat Qubo, and is marketed along its rebadged versions, the Citroën Nemo and the Peugeot Bipper. It is positioned below the Fiat Doblò, the Citroën Berlingo and the Peugeot Partner, in each manufacturer's model line up.
The name comes from an old Italian coin, normally translated into English as the Florin.George and Martha
George and Martha is a series of children's books written and illustrated by James Marshall between 1972 and 1988. Each book in the series contained five short stories describing interactions between two hippos, George and Martha. The books inspired an animated children's television show which comprised 26 episodes made in 1999, and a musical in 2011.Ion Television
Ion Television is an American free-to-air television network that is owned by Ion Media. The network first began broadcasting on August 31, 1998 as Pax TV (commonly referred to as "Pax"; stylized as PAX), focusing primarily on family-oriented entertainment programming; it rebranded as i: Independent Television (commonly referred to as "i"; stylized as i) on July 1, 2005, converting into a general entertainment network featuring mainly recent and older acquired programs; the network adopted its current identity as Ion Television on January 29, 2007.
Ion Television is available throughout most of the United States through its group of 62 owned-and-operated stations, as well as through distribution on cable and satellite providers; since 2014, the network has also increased affiliate distribution in several markets through the digital subchannels of local television stations owned by companies such as NBCUniversal and Nexstar Media Group where the network is unable to maintain a main channel affiliation with or own a standalone station, for the same purpose as the distribution of Ion's main network feed via cable and satellite. The network's stations cover all of the top 20 U.S. markets and 37 of the top 50 markets. Ion's owned-and-operated stations cover 64.8% of the United States population, by far the most of any U.S. station ownership group; it is able to circumvent the legal limit of covering 39% of the population because all of its stations operate on the UHF television band, which is subject to a discount (which in the digital age has proven controversial with other broadcast groups and FCC rulings between presidential administrations, though not with Ion itself) in regard to that limit.Jacob Two-Two (TV series)
Jacob Two-Two is a Canadian animated TV series based on a trilogy of books written by Mordecai Richler that first aired September 1, 2003 on Canadian children's channel YTV and Qubo in United States and aired on the French Canadian network VRAK.TV as Jacob Jacob. Nelvana and 9 Story Entertainment produced the series' 62 episodes. Funbag Animation Studios, Atomic Cartoons, and Nitrogen Studios provided animation. The series was cancelled on December 29, 2006. Jacob Two-Two is one of the first cartoons to have aired on Qubo.Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (or Jakers in Europe) is an American-British-Irish computer-animated children's television series. The series was broadcast in the United States on PBS Kids. It was also broadcast in Australia on ABC Kids.The show chronicles the boyhood adventures of Piggley Winks, an anthropomorphic pig from Ireland, and how he relates these stories to his grandchildren as a grandfather in the present day.
The story takes place on the Fitzpatrick's farm “Raloo Farm” in Skryne, County Meath, Ireland - where the Fitzpatrick family live in real life.The word "jakers" was originally a euphemism for "Jesus" in much of Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s, and was an exclamation of surprise, delight, dismay, or alarm. Piggley and his father exclusively use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures.
Notably, the show contains voice work by both Joan Rivers and Mel Brooks.List of Qubo affiliates
Qubo is an American broadcast, cable and satellite television network owned by Ion Media Networks, which was launched on August 31, 2006. As of October 2015, the network currently has current and pending affiliation agreements with 67 other television stations, the vast majority of which are owned by its corporate parent. Qubo also distributes its base national programming feed directly to cable, satellite and IPTV providers in various media markets not listed here, as an alternative method of distribution in areas without a locally based owned-and-operated or affiliate station.
This article is a listing of current, pending and former Ion Television affiliates in the continental United States (including subchannel affiliates, satellite stations and select low-power translators), arranged alphabetically by state, and based on the station's city of license and followed in parentheses by the Designated Market Area if it differs from the city of license. There are links to and articles on each of the broadcast stations, describing their histories, technical information (such as broadcast frequencies) and any local programming.
The station's virtual (PSIP) channel number follows the call letters, and is itself followed by the station's actual digital channel number, which are listed as separate columns. The article also includes a list of its former affiliate stations, which is based strictly on the station's city of license or market, and denotes the years in which the station served as an affiliate as well as the current status of the corresponding channel that carried the network.List of programs broadcast by Ion Television
This is a list of programs broadcast by Ion Television, both past and present.List of programs broadcast by Qubo
This is a list of programs currently and formerly broadcast by the children's cable television channel Qubo in the United States.Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is a Canadian animated children's television series created by Michael and Betty Paraskevas. The program was based on the 1996 book The Ferocious Beast with the Polka-Dot Hide and its sequels, all of which were also written by the Paraskevases.The show began as a series of shorts aired on the Canadian channel Teletoon in 1998. The first full length episode premiered on August 26, 2000.The series began airing on Qubo in 2018.NA-202 (Qambar Shahdadkot-I)
NA-202 (Qambar Shahdadkot-I) (Urdu: این اے-٢٠٢، قمبرشہدادکوٹ-١) is a newly-created a constituency for the National Assembly of Pakistan. It mainly comprises the Qubo Saeed Khan Taluka, Shahdadkot Taluka, Sijawal Junejo Taluka, and Miro Khan Taluka. It was created in the 2018 delimitation after the constituency overlapping between Qambar Shahdadkot District and Larkana District was ended.Pippi Longstocking (1997 TV series)
Pippi Longstocking is a Canadian–German-American animated television series produced by AB Svensk Filmindustri, TaurusFilm, TFC Trickompany Filmproduktion, and Nelvana based on the book series drawn and written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.It was led by German director Michael Schaack. The story editor and chief writer for the series was Ken Sobol. His son John Sobol also wrote several episodes.Scaredy Squirrel (TV series)
Scaredy Squirrel is a Canadian animated comedy television series based very loosely on the Scaredy Squirrel book series by Mélanie Watt. The series premiered in April 1, 2011 and ended in August 17, 2013.Stickin' Around
Stickin' Around is a Canadian animated children's television series from Nelvana, which originally aired on YTV in Canada and on ABC in Australia in 1996 and Cartoon Network in 2002. In Latin America, it was broadcast by Nickelodeon under the title Los Grafitos. In United Kingdom it aired on Nickelodeon in 1996 and Pop in 2004. It was also broadcast on TV Asahi and Disney Channel in Japan and TVNZ 2 in New Zealand. It was also aired in the United States on Fox Kids from 1997 to 1998. As of now, it airs on Qubo as part of its nighttime line until March 26, 2018. However, it returned to Qubo on June 4, 2018 as part of the network's Qubo Night Owl block until January 2019.The show, which originated as a series of 1-minute vignettes on CBS in 1994, is about two children named Stacy and Bradley, their hand-drawn adventures with their friends and family, and their fantasies. Stacy and Bradley, best friends, encounter many problems they must face as they continue to grow up – if it is with school, bullies, friends, and parents. They always come up with imaginative ideas to eliminate these obstacles, such as becoming a superhero, and putting themselves in a different environment where they have no trouble in defeating their enemies.
According to Nelvana, it uses the "advanced computer graphics of "Boiler Paint", virtually convincing us that kids are creating their own animated series."
The show won the Gemini Award for "Best Animated Program or Series" in the spring of 1998, while being nominated once again during the fall of 1998, for the Gemini of the same award.
The show's original run was between 1996 to 1998, with reruns airing prominently on YTV until 2004. The show returned in reruns on YTV from 2006 to 2008.The Magic School Bus (TV series)
The Magic School Bus is a Canadian-American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. The series has received critical acclaim for its use of celebrity talent and combining entertainment with an educational series. Broadcasting & Cable said the show was "among the highest-rated PBS shows for school-age children." A revival series titled The Magic School Bus Rides Again was released on Netflix on September 29, 2017.Wibbly Pig
Wibbly Pig is the title character of a series of picture books for babies and very young children, written and illustrated by English author and illustrator Mick Inkpen. The series includes titles such as Wibbly Pig Likes Bananas (ISBN 0-340-75740-X) and Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig?. Like Inkpen's Kipper the Dog for slightly older readers, Wibbly Pig has been published internationally and has sold millions of copies worldwide.
The series are generally published as "board books", books with thick cardboard pages which are easier for very young children to turn and also more durable and easier to clean than normal books. Some of the Wibbly Pig books also have activity features such as flaps which can be lifted to reveal additional art.
Wibbly Pig is a favourite of pre-school children and an ideal introduction to simple ideas through intelligent yet basic text and questions.
Wibbly Pig is often accompanied by his favourite toys Pigley, Flop and Dimple. He carries a bunch of his friends he calls the "Fligley Imple".
Besides the books, Wibbly Pig has been made into other merchandise as well, such as stuffed toys. A boxed-set version of Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig? (ISBN 0-340-89306-0) exists which includes a small beanie-style Wibbly.
Wibbly Pig is very similar to Arnold, the young pig friend of Inkpen's Kipper the Dog. It is possible that they represent the same character.
Like Kipper, Wibbly Pig also exists in the form of a life-sized costumed character who can greet and interact with children at special events such as library story hours.
Children's television blocks in the United States
|O&O Television stations|
(owned & operated through Ion Media Television;
carries Ion Television, Ion Life, & Qubo
unless otherwise noted)
|Other ION Affiliates|
(owned by other broadcasters)
(by call sign)
brands and predecessors
Some of the assets listed above are majority-owned, wholly-owned, by Corus Entertainment, or are under license. Refer to full asset list for detailed information.
Family-oriented television channels in the United States
|Pre-teens and teens|