Hola!: Qubo Launches 24/7 Kids Channel

Qubo, the 5-month-old venture, has launched an eponymous round-the-clock channel--and that gives NBC its Saturday morning kids' programming block.

Billed as a new form of children's programming with its emphasis on promoting literacy and diversity, the channel has launched on Ion Media's (formerly Pax) web of broadcast stations as a digital channel. Qubo will seek carriage via cable, satellite and telco distribution outlets in other markets.

Qubo broke some ground in September when it launched in both English and Spanish. The programming airs in Spanish on Telemundo, along with its English-language carriage on NBC and Ion's stations. NBC Universal, which owns Telemundo, is a partner in the venture, along with Ion, Scholastic and other program providers.

NBC says qubo delivered ratings 51% percent higher among the 2-to-11 demo (the principal target is kids four to eight) in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.

The net signed on partly as a way to replace its Saturday-morning programming previously supplied by Discovery.



Programming includes "Babar," "Jacob Two-Two" and "VeggieTales" and comes from sources ranging from Scholastic to Classic Media to NBC Universal.

The 24-hour channel will initially include a four-hour block that will be in continual repeats, eventually expanded to six hours at an undisclosed date.

The channel offers interstitials promoting topics, such as Scholastic's "Reading ... Everybody's Doing It" campaign.

Qubo's portfolio includes a Spanish-language Web site that was launched last month.

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