What if Nickelodeon stayed with Warner Communications?

TheMisterManGuy

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In its earliest years, before the 1985 acquisition by Viacom, Nickelodeon was owned by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment. A joint venture of American Express and Warner Bros.'s parent company, Warner Communications. Warner originally launched Nick as part of its "QUBE" experiment in the late 70s which showed nothing but a preschool series titled Pinwheel. It would later join Warner's main cable packages by the end of the decade with its current name and some new shows in tact.

Warner later bought back American Expresses' stake in Warner-Amex, reverting the company back to Warner Cable in 1984, and a year later, sold its networks division, which included Nick, MTV, and VH1, to an upstart syndication company named Viacom (who had spun off from CBS), who renamed it MTV Networks.

Viacom arguably made Nickelodeon the household name it is today. But what if Warner kept its networks division after they bought back AE's shares? Specifically, what if Nick and the rest of its sister channels stayed with Warner? Who by that point merged with Time, Inc. to form "TimeWarner". How would the channel be different? Would Nickelodeon's trademark attitude remain in this timeline under a TimeWarner ownership?

I definately think that there'd be more coporate synergy between Nick and TimeWarner's other subsidaries, namely Warner Bros. WB would probably distribute Nick movies instead of Paramount, and maybe Warner Bros. Television could've been one of the networks' main production houses. Unlike Cartoon Network (which TimeWarner would later own through its Turner acquisition), Nick isn't bound to strictly airing animated programing, so WB could also produce live-action shows for the Channel. And If the creation of Kids' WB! remains in this timeline, then Nick would be KWB's second run outlet as opposed to Cartoon Network.
 

Dudley

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It’ll be interesting thst Warner would own a generic kids channel, and a cartoon focused channel in this timeline. I doubt CN would’ve stayed animated focused for long. They’d start focusing on targeting a specific demographic eventually. As is the fate of most channels these days.
 

Mikurotoro92

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Nickelodeon would be better off IMHO. Viacom has done nothing but destroy the network's integrity! Plus seeing Teen Titans GO and SpongeBob SquarePants on the same network would be nothing short of surreal.
 

RandomMe

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Hypothetically, it would have been broken down like this:

Viacom would have continued being a syndication company with Nickelodeon essentially being Warner's own kids channel. Their investments in television might have started around 1986 or so, when they forcibly bought Hanna-Barbera from the clutches of Taft (MGM would be more powerful here, meaning that Tom and Jerry aren't WB properties, still with MGM). The fortunes created by Viacom were powerful enough to create an entire kids channel, Cartoon Network (essentially the same but without Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, etc.) and decided to push into original programming around 1994 (not counting shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast or Moxy and Flea). By 1995, Viacom (who by then owned Paramount) decided to premiere a cartoon block on its newfound network, UPN.

On Warner's side, Animaniacs would still get reruns on Nickelodeon. Where Viacom created Boomerang, Nickelodeon created NickToons. Pre-school programming ended up on a pre-school channel set up by Viacom (Cartoon Jr.) that was plagued by poor international expansion and heavy reliance on imports and third-party American shows (essentially the same as how Cartoonito failed).

As of 2019, the WarnerMedia kids channels would be something like this:
  • Nick (AKA the TT GO! network)/Nick@Nite
  • TeenNick
  • NickToons
The Viacom kids portfolio would be:
  • Cartoon Network (AKA the SpongeBob network, I might consider Ed, Edd n Eddy to air here in this canon because it was made in Canada)
  • Cartoon Jr. (with Nick not lenient on pre-school programming because the roles were switched, the role goes to Cartoon Jr.)
  • Boomerang (a bit more like NickToons is, at one point it had its equivalent of NickSports)
 

PinkieLopBun

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I sometimes wonder about this myself, although I'm not sure if they still would've bought Turner if they still had MTV Networks. When they bought Turner, it was Warner's first involvement in basic cable since they sold MTV Networks, so I'm not sure if they would've been interested in Turner if they didn't sell it.
Warner later bought back American Expresses' stake in Warner-Amex, reverting the company back to Warner Cable in 1984, and a year later, sold its networks division, which included Nick, MTV, and VH1, to an upstart syndication company named Viacom (who had spun off from CBS), who renamed it MTV Networks.
I'm not entirely sure who bought what and when, though MTV Networks was actually Warner-Amex's idea. They incorporated it in February 1984. It was more appealing to shareholders because Warner-Amex had a weak reputation while MTV had a great reputation, and it also allowed Warner to sell MTV Networks while retaining their cable operations.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Nickelodeon would be better off IMHO. Viacom has done nothing but destroy the network's integrity! Plus seeing Teen Titans GO and SpongeBob SquarePants on the same network would be nothing short of surreal.

Viacom is what helped make Nickelodeon the household name it is today. Warner may have launched Nick, but Viacom made it big.
 

RandomMe

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Viacom is what helped make Nickelodeon the household name it is today. Warner may have launched Nick, but Viacom made it big.
Because of that I might update my scenario. If Warner were still under control it wouldn't become a household name until the late 90s and international expansion would start there. It's a whole lot complicated because ot involves more than just two companies, and of course Turner having lesser television investments.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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I'm not entirely sure who bought what and when, though MTV Networks was actually Warner-Amex's idea. They incorporated it in February 1984. It was more appealing to shareholders because Warner-Amex had a weak reputation while MTV had a great reputation, and it also allowed Warner to sell MTV Networks while retaining their cable operations.

You're right. Upon more research, Warner spun-off a third of its ownership in MTV Networks, making it a publicly traded company, with Warner holding controlling stake. Then sometime in 1985, Viacom bought that open 1/3rd, and a year later bought Warner's 2/3rds of the company, making MTV Networks a wholy owned subsidiary of Viacom.
 

Red Arrow

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Hypothetically, it would have been broken down like this:

Viacom would have continued being a syndication company with Nickelodeon essentially being Warner's own kids channel. Their investments in television might have started around 1986 or so, when they forcibly bought Hanna-Barbera from the clutches of Taft (MGM would be more powerful here, meaning that Tom and Jerry aren't WB properties, still with MGM). The fortunes created by Viacom were powerful enough to create an entire kids channel, Cartoon Network (essentially the same but without Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, etc.) and decided to push into original programming around 1994 (not counting shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast or Moxy and Flea). By 1995, Viacom (who by then owned Paramount) decided to premiere a cartoon block on its newfound network, UPN.

On Warner's side, Animaniacs would still get reruns on Nickelodeon. Where Viacom created Boomerang, Nickelodeon created NickToons. Pre-school programming ended up on a pre-school channel set up by Viacom (Cartoon Jr.) that was plagued by poor international expansion and heavy reliance on imports and third-party American shows (essentially the same as how Cartoonito failed).

As of 2019, the WarnerMedia kids channels would be something like this:
  • Nick (AKA the TT GO! network)/Nick@Nite
  • TeenNick
  • NickToons
The Viacom kids portfolio would be:
  • Cartoon Network (AKA the SpongeBob network, I might consider Ed, Edd n Eddy to air here in this canon because it was made in Canada)
  • Cartoon Jr. (with Nick not lenient on pre-school programming because the roles were switched, the role goes to Cartoon Jr.)
  • Boomerang (a bit more like NickToons is, at one point it had its equivalent of NickSports)
Balony. SpongeBob would still be on Nick.
 

RandomMe

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I was just giving my own take on it. In my scenario the tables have turned but not entirely. Warner wouldn't run CN and Nick as it would be antitrust.

On the contrary, I would picture myself watching The Fairly OddParents in English on the EMEA feed of CN (had some aspects of internationalizing were kept from their real counterparts) as a kid, though.
 

Radiant97

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I think CN would still exist, but it would be a lot different. For one, they most likely wouldn't have access to the WB cartoons, since Warner might grant Nick exclusive airing rights.
 

RandomMe

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I think CN would still exist, but it would be a lot different. For one, they most likely wouldn't have access to the WB cartoons, since Warner might grant Nick exclusive airing rights.
In my scenario above, the CN shows were owned by Viacom, yet a Cartoon Network on CBS would not be a reality due to the lack of potentially E/I friendly content.
 
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