Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television network which was launched on December 1, 1977 as the first cable channel for children. It is owned by Viacom through its Viacom Media Networks division's Nickelodeon Group unit and is based in New York City. It broadcasts usually from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays (the sign off time varies with holidays and special programming), Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time). It is primarily aimed at children and adolescents aged 2–17.
The channel was originally first tested as Pinwheel on December 1, 1977. Pinwheel was at the time only available on QUBE, which was the first two-way major market interactive cable television system, owned by Warner Cable. Pinwheel relaunched as Nickelodeon on April 1, 1979, and expanded to other cable providers nationwide. It was initially commercial-free and remained without advertising until 1984. Warner sold Nickelodeon, along with its sister networks MTV and VH1, to Viacom in 1986.
As of January 2016, the channel is available to about 92.056 million households (79.086% of households with TV) in the United States.