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KidsClick shuts down

Just a few months shy of its second anniversary, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KidsClick morning programming block is coming to an end. The daily cartoon lineup will air for the last time on Sunday, March 31st. KidsClick launched on July 1, 2017.

While it might seem sudden, the signs were there. Previously, KidsClick was regularly refreshed with new content, but the last new addition was the shortlived run of LEGO Friends: Girls on a Mission back in December. More telling was the lack of social media activity. The block’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts were constantly updated, yet that stopped in February.

That was until they posted this farewell message on Friday:

With a heavy heart, we are writing you to let you know that KidsCLICK is coming to an end this weekend. Thank you for all of your support, comments, shares, likes and more. We will miss each and every one of our fans and don’t forget to Stay TOONed.

– KidsClick on Facebook

A reason for the closure wasn’t shared, though decisions like these are only made when things aren’t working out financially. As of press time, a shutdown date for the KidsClick website and apps weren’t shared.

It’s easy to say the block died because there simply isn’t a market for this kind of programming on broadcast television anymore. Unfortunately, while that may be true, it’s hard not to see KidsClick as a victim of more, beyond even the FCC’s Kidvid regulations and advertising standards.

When the block launched, it was carried nationally on ThisTV and on select Sinclair-operated local stations. While the latter would schedule the shows in timeslots convenient to them (which meant it often wasn’t convenient for viewers), ThisTV provided a standard nation-wide schedule. ThisTV, being one of the first successful over-the-air digital sub-networks, had a wide reach in a lot of big markets. The problem was that Sinclair didn’t own ThisTV. At the time of KidsClick’s launch, the company was in discussions to purchase Tribune Broadcasting, but ultimately that deal would turn into a debacle beyond the scope of this site.

Perhaps foreshadowing the then forthcoming spat between Sinclair and Tribune, KidsClick lost its place on ThisTV last summer, being demoted to Sinclair’s far less distributed TBD sub-channel. While it’s true everything was still available online at no cost, the online components were largely promoted to those already viewing on linear.

One of the issues facing any free kids TV offering in the United States is that there aren’t really any marketable programming libraries available to support them. As part of the ThisTV partnership, KidsClick received content from the MGM library, courtesy of MGM co-owing ThisTV alongside Tribune. While MGM’s portfolio has been able to supply a number of digital sub-channels with content, KidsClick only gained block favorite Pink Panther & Pals and Robo Cop: Alpha Commando as MGM wasn’t a big player in the children’s television space. The companies that own the big libraries with the name shows typically have their own pay TV solutions they’d like you to subscribe to. This meant KidsClick had to actively acquire shows, which meant higher expenses.

The added cost was to the benefit of viewers, though. KidsClick offered a home to foreign shows like Scary Larry and The Legendaries (no matter how short lived), that otherwise would’ve likely never seen the light of day officially in the United States. Not to mention, KidsClick offered a linear home to series like Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Oggy and the Cockroaches, Mecard and more. That wouldn’t have happened if they were just picking shows from a single company’s history.

There were definitely rocky patches with KidsClick. For unexplained reasons, the block never ran shows like Sonic X and Transformers Prime, despite both being seen in pre-launch advertising. At times, KidsClick was plagued with technical issues that would see shows inexplicably repeated, or skipped over in ways that didn’t reflect the schedule. They also kept certain shows, like the 9-episode (that’s including the recycled FMV game footage that encompasses “Search for the 5th Driver”) Team Hot Wheels, a little too long for the liking of some. Yet it still offered something different and the team at Sinclair were always trying despite the obvious uphill battle.

Ultimately, it’s viewers and syndicators who lose out with KidsClick’s demise. Households without cable or high speed internet are again limited to educational content on PBS Kids, as well as the pared down offerings on Qubo and other digital sub-channels like Light TV. It’s a shame that had to happen.

With KidsClick leaving, what were some of your favorite moments in the block’s history? Do you think we’ll see another attempt at this again? Leave a comment down below.


15 replies on “KidsClick shuts down”

My 3 children and I watched your cartoons every morning before school on TBD. My daughter had a birthday April 1st and I made a special breakfast. We all sat down and turned on the TV and it was “Happy Birthday, cartoons are gone” We have limited access to internet so thanks for taking away our happy morning time.

This sucks. My kids watch this every morning before school. Pink Panther and miraculous ladybug were my kids favorites! Also Angry Birds was another favorite. My daughter even asked me to wake her up on days off so she could watch ladybug. My kids are devastated. This is extremely disappointing.

Please bring this kids program back my kids love it and are upset its gone. Especially my son who feels he’s to old for pbs.

Not really hurt my four-year-old daughter she really likes ladybug and cat noir Pink panther and the ugly cockroaches and the Monkees it’s sad to see a good cartoon station go she wakes up every morning saying mommy let’s watch the cartoons but I didn’t know as a parent the cartoon station has shut down that sad hopefully that will give kids something to look at besides The Simpsons and family Guy

After 3 years of making a comeback from the CW’s Saturday morning lineup when it came to a close, now on this with the kid’s click, y’all did a wonderful job of making it happen for almost two years and now it went down. Now the real question is, when are you going to make another comeback on this soon?

My daughter and I watched Kid’s click every morning before school and work. Though we watched all seasons of Miraculous on Netflix we still tuned into CW58 to watch Ladybug capture the Akuma. I think I was more disappointed than she was. Now I am forced to watch the news…ugh

My kids are still upset this isn’t on the air anymore although I didn’t like the times most of the shows came on. I personally miss Miraculous and Angry Birds. We’re losing the days of simple childhood and incidences innocence. Glad we still have Qubo. 😣

My little boy really liked Miraculous (which he called Ladybug after the girl character), Angry Birds, and Pink Panther.

But honestly I wasn’t too crazy about the programming. Oggy and the Cockroaches was disgusting and Miraculous had some pretty heavy themes for a kid’s morning cartoon. The before school scheduling kept us in a constant battle over the TV in the morning too when it’s already hard enough to keep them focused and getting out the door.

So no, I’m not really sorry to see Kid’s Click go. But my little boy is. All these months later he was asking me about “Ladybugs” so I finally did a search to see what was up and can’t across this article. Reported my findings to the kid and he was a bit disappointed.

I would like to see some decent kid’s programming and cartoons on network tv. Nowadays, every Saturday morning network tv is filled with these low-budget, animal facts type shows which are boring and don’t show anything the kids haven’t already learned after watching Wild Kratts since birth.

There are plenty of popular children’s books series that could be adapted for tv or even reboots of old series waiting for a new audience.

But after my experience with Kid’s Click I would be very careful about what I let them watch.

Also, there’s a certain comfort in being about to run to the loo or cook dinner with PBS in the background and not have to worry about questionable content. Also there’s the lack of kid’s advertising too. I don’t have to worry about being begged for unsuitable toys or sugary breakfast cereals either.

That’s a quotient that had me changing the channel back to PBS or streaming cartoons I pre-approved long before Kid’s Click went off the air.

We cannot believe u guys took these cartoons off air. My son and i watch these cartoons every morning on TBD before school and if we miss it we be upset cause we love ur shows ALL OF THEM..ANGRY BIRDS..in which we are some angry birds because of this..SONIC..JUNGLE BOOK..TEAM HOT WHEELS..THE MIRACULOUS TALES OF LADYBUG & CAT NOIR..i was kinda excited when i seen ladybug and kat noir on Netflix because i most definitely love that one myself lol..MONSTER HIGH THE ADVENTURES OF THE GHOUL SQUAD..MECARD..MAX STEEL..ROCKET MONKEYS..PAC MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES ..OGGY AND THE COCKROACHES..PINK PANTHER & PALS..ROBOCOP:ALPHA COMMANDO..TRANSFORMERS:PRIME..ZAK STORM..SCARY LARRY..and SUPER4 and yeah im extra for naming all the shows but thats because we love them and once again very upset that u took them away like how do u introduce us to something and take it like that even our friends would come over and watch it with us but once again highly upset at this because we dont have cable and those shows would show clear on my antenna for him to be able to watch other than pbs but why take away more of the few options he has other than the pbs cartoons he watches but anywho Thanks so very much for that

My kid misses his Saturday morning cartoons. Kinda is a bummer that they took away some his favorite shows. To bad my five year old is now stuck only watching PBS.

My kid misses his Saturday morning cartoons. Kinda is a bummer that they took away some his favorite shows. To bad my five year old is now stuck only watching PBS.

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