|Launched||September 9, 2006 (block)
January 8, 2007 (channel)
Telemundo (broadcast in Spanish)
|Owned by||QUBO Venture, LLC.
(ION Media Networks
Big Idea Productions
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||qubo's for everyone!|
|Broadcast area||National (but not available in all markets)|
|Formerly called||Smart Place for Kids|
|Sister channel(s)||Ion Television, ION Life, NBC, Telemundo|
|digital television||varies; usually xx.2 of ION Television stations|
|Available on selected cable systems.||Check local listings for channels|
|Sky Angel||Channel 307|
qubo (pronounced "Q-bo", originally called Smart Place for Kids until August 23, 2006) is the name of the American children's programming endeavor involving three broadcast networks, a digital television network, and numerous children's entertainment producers.
On May 8, 2006, ION Media Networks, Cartoon Network, Corus Entertainment's Nelvana unit, Scholastic Books, Classic Media and its Big Idea Productions unit announced plans to launch a new children's entertainment endeavor spread across all media platforms, including video-on-demand on digital cable and an interactive webpage.
The primary goal for qubo will be to "champion literacy and values in the children's television category." The endeavor will utilize ION's digital broadcast outlets, the educational, literary, and creative assets of Scholastic, and the combined content libraries and production facilities of Nelvana, Classic Media, Big Idea, and NBC Universal, which will also dedicate their weekend morning lineups to qubo. More than 1,000 half-hours of children's programming, including a new, original series from each of the partners per year, will air throughout the year.
All programming on qubo meets the FCC's "E/I" requirements using the same E/I bug used for PBS's programming (although they are not affiliated with PBS in any way). None of the partners has publicly explained why the name "qubo" was chosen, or why its logo is a cube, although in an interview with general manager Rick Rodriguez, he stated that the name was supposed to be something which sounded fun, and could easily be used in both English and Spanish.
A 24-hour broadcast digital television network, carried via the -DT2 digital subchannel of ION's affiliates, began broadcasting on January 8, 2007. qubo’s digital channel initially launched with a rolling four-hour block of children’s programming. Almost all of the programming also comes with an alternate Spanish language soundtrack via the SAP channel, and Spanish closed captioning via CC3.
On December 3, 2007, qubo expanded its offerings on the digital channel to include shows from other producers, as well as some programming currently seen on the main qubo block on NBC. In addition, the block was expanded to a 6-hour block, seen four times each day.
As of December 10, 2009 Qubo is not available on Comcast in the Atlanta area.
Not all shows are seen on all stations. During the NBC block, the programming might be delayed or pre-empted because of local affiliates schedules, or delayed by the network to show sporting events such as Wimbledon, The French Open, and the USGA's U.S. Open. As with all Saturday morning programming it is advisable to check local listings for showtimes. Usually when there's a delay, a special notice is shown during commercial breaks to note the delays, as part of E/I compliance.
Due to ION's extension of regular programming, ION airs the block into airing one hour Wednesdays-Fridays at 3:00PM Eastern/2:00PM Central.
Initially, the VeggieTales broadcasts did not feature the religious content that appears on the videos before and after the main feature, since the block is designed to educate all viewers. This has drawn criticism for the block and NBC in particular from the conservative watchdog group Parents Television Council, as well as VeggieTales co-creator Phil Vischer, who claims that he was unaware of the intent to edit out religious content when the program was acquired for qubo.
These programs are also seen on the qubo channel.
1- Reruns from another network.
2- originally part of the qubo block.