Qubo is a media venture which aims to "provide quality, entertaining children's programming in a safe environment".It originally encompassed a Saturday morning lineup aired by NBC, Ion, and Telemundo (in English and Spanish respectively), along with a 24-hour free-to-air children's network, alternatively known as Qubo Channel, being broadcast on Ions subchannels and their accompanying online platforms. It launched in 2006 as a joint venture between Ion Media Networks and NBC, along with Corus Entertainment, Scholastic, and the now NBCUniversal-owned DreamWorks Classics, formerly known as Classic Media (for content production and access to their respective libraries).
The Qubo block, a Saturday morning block of educational and informational programs (broadcasted by NBC and Telemundo) debuted on both NBC and Telemundo on September 9, 2006, with Friday afternoon reruns debuting on Ion on September 15 of that year. The Qubo block on NBC replaced NBCs previous Discovery Kids on NBC block, while the Qubo block on Telemundo replaced Telemundo Kids, a block of Viacom's Nickelodeon and Corus' Nelvana Spanish dubs (with Nelvana-produced show Jacob Two-Two actually having been previously aired on Telemundo Kids and being carried over to Qubo on Telemundo). On January 8, 2007, the 24-hour free-to-air standalone Qubo Channel launched on the subchannels of Ion's stations. The network originally ran a looping 4-hour block of programs; this block expanded into a 6-hour cycle with more outside programming later in the year, and in 2010, the channel introduced the late-night block Qubo's Night Owl, which initially consisted of classic animated series from the Filmation library. One thing unique to the standalone Qubo Channel is that it provides Spanish-language Closed Captioning for mainly its older programming via the CC3 channel as well as a Spanish-language Audio Description for both its older and newer programming via the SAP channel.
Qubo began to nab hits in March 2012 with the announcement that NBC and Telemundo would drop their respective Qubo blocks in favor of new preschool blocks programmed by Sprout (which NBC's new parent company, Comcast, owned a stake in), known as NBC Kids and MiTelemundo respectively, due to NBCUniversal exiting the joint venture. This left only the Qubo on Ion block and the 24-hour standalone Qubo Channel, putting a huge limit on its availability. With the NBC Kids block, Qubo lost the rights to all Universal-owned kids programming, and would eventually lose the rights to some DreamWorks Classics programming with the sale of that company to NBCUniversal, even though Ion Media Networks acquired the stakes of Qubo held by Corus Entertainment, Scholastic, and DreamWorks Classics in 2013.
Although the contracts with Scholastic, NBCUniversal and Classic Media (which is now part of NBCUniversal through DreamWorks Animation) have lapsed, Qubo still owns the rights to air Corus Entertainments catalog, but has also gotten programs from other companies such as 9 Story Media Group (which bought out the vast majority of Scholastics catalog in 2019), Splash Entertainment, and WildBrain.
The scheduling of "Qubo on Ion" has changed several times throughout its run on Ion (which in turn, restored children's programming to the network for the first time since it dropped the Pax Kids block in 2000), switching from a three-hour Friday afternoon slot to one hour each Wednesday through Fridays, and later switching again to a three-hour Friday morning slot. On January 4, 2015, Ion repurposed the block as the Qubo Kids Corner, a three-hour programming block airing back-to-back series of Qubo's educational programming every Sunday morning, later airing Wednesday through Friday mornings one hour each day. In January 2018, the block started airing every Friday for three hours. On January 3, 2020, the block was reduced to just two hours, though remained on Fridays.
Although the standalone channel is still around, since 2019, it ceased airing programming 24/7, having replaced the Night Owl block with five hours of Infomercials.
Qubo currently airs the following series:
- Babar - formerly part of "Night Owl"
- Babar and the Adventures of Badou
- Being Ian
- Bob the Builder (Season 21 only)
- Class of the Titans - formerly on "Night Owl", although it was on the main lineup for a little over a month before being moved.
- Dive Olly Dive!
- Fireman Sam
- I'm an Animal
- Inspector Gadget
- Jane and the Dragon
- Jerry and the Raiders
- Maggie and the Ferocious Beast
- Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse
- Mike the Knight
- My Friend Rabbit
- Ned's Newt
- Pippi Longstocking
- Pirates, Adventures in Art
- Rescue Heroes
- Scaredy Squirrel
- Stickin' Around - formerly part of "Night Owl"
- Timothy Goes to School
- Wibbly Pig
- Ask Me! - interstitials only
- Finding Stuff Out
- Mickey's Farm
Qubo has formerly aired the following series:
- 3-2-1 Penguins!
- Adventures from the Book of Virtues
- Anne of Green Gables
- Archie's Weird Mysteries
- Bubu and The Little Owls
- The Busy World of Richard Scarry - part of "Night Owl"
- Bravestarr - part of "Night Owl"
- Cosmic Quantum Ray
- Denver the Last Dinosaur
- Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist
- Eliot Kid
- Elliot Moose
- Famous 5: On The Case - part of "Night Owl"
- George and Martha
- Ghostbusters - part of "Night Owl"
- Guess with Jess
- Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) - part of "Night Owl"
- I Spy
- Jacob Two-Two - carried over from the direct predecessor of Telemundos Qubo block Telemundo Kids
- Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
- Joe and Jack
- LarryBoy: The Cartoon Adventures
- The Magic School Bus
- Maisy - (as a show made by Universal, its leaving happened to coincide with the launch of NBC Kids)
- Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks
- Miss BG
- Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends
- The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog
- Nutri Ventures
- Pet Alien
- Postman Pat
- Sandra the Fairy Tale Detective
- Sally Bollywood: Super Detective - part of "Night Owl"
- Sammy's Story Shop
- Secret Millionaires Club - also on the Qubo Kids Corner and the Night Owl
- Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
- She-Ra: Princess of Power - part of "Night Owl"
- Sitting Ducks - part of "Night Owl" (formerly in daytime airings), (as a show made by Universal, before it happened to coincide with the launch of NBC Kids)
- Spliced - part of "Night Owl"
- Thomas Edison's Secret Lab - also on the Qubo Kids Corner
- Turbo Dogs
- VeggieTales - no longer airing, but is currently broadcasting in Christian-based syndication.
- Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? - part of "Night Owl" and daytime airings
- Willa's Wild Life
- Zula Patrol
Live-Action and Puppets
- Animal Atlas
- Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller
- Animal Science
- The Choo Choo Bob Show
- Culture Click
- Dear America
- Funniest Pets and People - part of "Night Owl"
- Lamb Chop's Play-Along
- Look Kool
- Mighty Machines
- Safari Tracks - on the Qubo Kids Corner
- Taste Buds
- Theodore Tugboat
- This Is Daniel Cook
- Timeblazers - part of "Night Owl"
- Zoo Clues - also on the Qubo Kids Corner