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BBC Kids

BBC Kids
BBC Kids.svg
LaunchedNovember 5, 2001 (2001-11-05)
ClosedJanuary 1, 2019 (2019-01-01)
Owned byKnowledge West Communications (80%, managing partner)
BBC Studios (20%)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
SloganWhat's so funny?
Broadcast areaCanada
HeadquartersBurnaby, British Columbia
Sister channel(s)Knowledge Network
Knowledge Kids

BBC Kids was a Canadian English-language discretionary service[1] 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.


BBC Kids' original logo, used from November 5, 2001 to April 30, 2016.


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."[2]

The channel was launched on November 5, 2001 as a joint venture between Alliance Atlantis and BBC Worldwide.[3][4] 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,[5] a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media,[6] acquired control of BBC Kids through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis' broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007.[7]

On October 27, 2010, the channel's ownership changed once again as Shaw Communications gained control of BBC Kids as a result of its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]


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.[12] 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.[13]


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.


Programming blocks


CBeebies logo.
  • CBeebies - "CBeebies" was a programming block aimed at preschoolers that airs weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. It debuted on May 13, 2011, when Knowledge Network Corporation took ownership of the channel, when BBC Kids was changed from an ad-supported service to a commercial-free service.
  • Cartoon Afternoons - "Cartoon Afternoons" was a programming block dedicated to animated television series that aired weekdays from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • Drama at 8 - "Drama at 8" was a primetime block featuring various British dramas, such as Emma and Moone Boy. It aired every weeknight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
BBCK's logo.
  • BBCK - "BBCK" was a program block aimed towards both preteen and teenage audiences that debuted on April 3, 2006, while BBC Kids was still under the ownership of Alliance Atlantis and BBC Worldwide, airing nightly from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time. With the block's launch, the channel also launched a separate website, making it appear as though BBCK was a separate channel similar to the former agreement between Noggin and The N in the United States.[34] In early 2008, when Canwest Global and Goldman Sachs purchased Alliance Atlantis, the BBCK website was shut down; however, the block itself remained until after May 12, 2011, when ownership changed hands from Shaw Media to Knowledge Network Corporation and when BBC Kids was changed from an ad-supported service to a commercial-free service.
  • The Spot - From its launch in 2001 to May 12, 2011, BBC Kids aired a programming block called "The Spot", which aired weekdays from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and weekends from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. "The Spot" focused on programming aimed at preteen audiences. The block was discontinued after May 12, 2011 when the channel's ownership changed hands from Shaw Media to Knowledge Network Corporation.

International distribution


  1. ^ (CRTC), Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. "Knowledge Network and BBC Kids – Licence renewals".
  2. ^ "Decision CRTC 2000-493". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. November 24, 2000.
  3. ^ "Dates set for BBC Canada and BBC Kids launches". C21 Media. March 9, 2001.
  4. ^ "BBC Worldwide Annual Review 2001/2 – Highlights" (Press release). BBC. July 17, 2002.
  5. ^ "Canwest Global receives final CRTC approval for acquisition of Alliance Atlantis" (Press release). CNW Group. January 18, 2008.
  6. ^ "Goldman's happy ending at CanWest". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "CanWest Completes Acquisition of Alliance Atlantis". Investor Point. August 15, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012.
  8. ^ "CRTC approves Shaw's purchase of the Canwest Global television properties". Archived from the original on December 20, 2013.
  9. ^ "Notice of Hearing". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. December 22, 2010.
  10. ^ "BBC Worldwide Partners with Knowledge Network to Operate BBC Kids". Broadcaster Magazine. January 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "BBC Kids".
  12. ^ BBC Kids Channel Closes in Canada, Knowledge Media press release, 10-02-18
  13. ^ "Knowledge Network's BBC Kids".
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  34. ^ "BBCK : Home Page". April 22, 2008.
  35. ^ "Flow Cable channel lineup". Archived from the original on November 9, 2007.
  36. ^ Cable Bahamas channel lineup Archived August 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine

External links