Nickelodeon began as a small television network, called Pinwheel, in Ohio in 1977. It initially offered just a few hours a day of programming, which consisted primarily of imported shows from abroad, particularly Canada. It was renamed Nickelodeon in New York in 1979 when it launched under Warner Cable (now part of Time Warner Cable). The network quickly expanded nationally. In 1986, Warner sold Nickelodeon to Viacom, and the network remained with Viacom even after its split from Columbia Broadcasting System in 2005.

Nickelodeon in the 1980s

Nickelodeon was a small part of a much larger company, so there was initially leniency on profitability. Nickelodeon functioned as a loss leader, running without commercials. In this way, it would be able to provide higher-quality viewing experiences, a ...

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