Even kids' networks are finding they can use some help from sports.
Nickelodeon is teaming up with the NFL, MLS and Nascar for a prime-time, sports-themed block of programming to run on its Nicktoons channel. The two-hour "NickSports" block, which starts this week, will run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays.
"NickSports" will include a mix of original and acquired long and short-form content from the leagues, such as the half-hour magazine-format show "NFL Rush" and the short-form MLS segment "Mike Magee's Day Off"; new episodes of the animated series "Wild Grinders," about a skateboarder called Lil' Rob, loosely based on pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek; documentary programming including the TV premiere of "Little Ballers," about the Amateur Athletic Union; and acquired movies.
"More than 70% of kids ages 7-14 in the U.S. play two-to-three organized sports a year, so the interest and enthusiasm is already there," said Keith Dawkins, senior VP and general manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr., in a statement. Nickelodeon is part of Viacom, which also owns networks such as MTV and BET.
"NickSports" comes after Nickelodeon aired a "Kids' Choice Sports" awards show this summer, which attracted 2.3 million total viewers.