|Launched||November 5, 2001|
|Closed||January 1, 2019|
|Owned by||Knowledge West Communications (80%, managing partner)|
BBC Studios (20%)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||What's so funny?|
|Headquarters||Burnaby, British Columbia|
|Sister channel(s)||Knowledge Network|
BBC Kids was a Canadian English-language discretionary service owned as a joint venture between Knowledge West Communications (which serves as managing partner and owns a majority 80% interest), an entity of the Government of British Columbia as a crown corporation under Knowledge Network and BBC Studios (which owns the remaining 20%), the latter being a commercial division of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It operated as a commercial-free channel that aired programming aimed at youth ranging from preschoolers to teenagers.
In November 2000, Alliance Atlantis was granted approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch BBC Kids, described as "a national English-language Category 2 specialty television service devoted to top-quality educational and entertaining programming for children and youth (ages 2-17). It will feature programming primarily from the UK and around the world. 65% of the programming will target children ages 2 to 11, the majority of which will target 6 to 11 years old and 35% will target youth ages 12 to 17."
The channel was launched on November 5, 2001 as a joint venture between Alliance Atlantis and BBC Worldwide. The channel primarily aired programs from the UK, from which the vast majority were sourced from the BBC and its affiliated channels; however, throughout its history under the ownership of Alliance Atlantis and its subsequent incarnations under Canwest and Shaw, select programs were sourced from other countries and other British broadcasters such as Tots TV, Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, and The Sleepover Club. In addition to British programs, the channel also broadcast Canadian programs, as required by the CRTC.
On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media, acquired control of BBC Kids through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis' broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007.
It was revealed through regulatory documents on December 22, 2010 that Shaw Media was in the process of selling the channel to an unknown third party. On January 17, 2011, the Government of British Columbia's Knowledge Network Corporation announced it had finalized an agreement to purchase the channel through a subsidiary called Knowledge-West Communications Corporation from Shaw Media, while BBC Worldwide would retain its interest in the service.
Knowledge decided to change BBC Kids from an ad-supported service to a commercial-free service, and relocate its old headquarters from Toronto, Ontario to its new headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia. The transaction required CRTC approval, which was granted on April 29, 2011.
On May 1, 2016, BBC Kids updated its logo to reflect its 15th anniversary and to coincide with its new rebranding.
On October 2, 2018, a joint statement from Knowledge Network and BBC announced the channel would cease broadcasting after December 31, 2018. No reasoning for the closure was outlined in their statement. President and CEO of Knowledge Network Rudy Buttignol stated in a subsequent interview that "the decision is due to a challenging regulatory environment facing independent channels", and that BBC Kids was successful in its major objective of gaining additional revenue for Knowledge Network, which among other benefits for the network helped finance an HD version of that channel. Knowledge Network plans to keep working with the BBC on future content deals, and its children's block Knowledge Kids is to continue airing shows originally commissioned for BBC Kids.
BBC Kids broadcasts educational and entertainment programs from the BBC and Canadian series aimed at children ranging in age from 2 to 17 years old in the form of both live action and animated programs.