SVT Barnkanalen is a channel from Sveriges Television dedicated to children´s programming.
Barnkanalen started broadcasting on 23 December 2002. During its first year it was only available from 6.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on weekdays. The channel also took a "summer vacation" between 23 May and 18 August. The rest of the time could be used for other programming, some weekends one could see tennis in the schedule.
The programming was aimed at pre-school children in the mornings and the afternoon programming was targeted at older children (pre-teens). The morning block featured special announcers that presented programmes from "the TV ship". Right after it had finished, the morning programmes would rerun immediately. At 1.00 p.m., an interactive show called Twebby was broadcast and it was followed by programmes for older children presented by two animated continuity announcers called "Joppe and Nella". Afternoon programming included animation, English language programming as well as dramas from the SVT archives.
On 6 December 2003, the channel started broadcasting on weekends, from 7.00 a.m.. From 2004, Barnkanalen would be a full year service.
During the 2004 Summer Olympics, SVT Extra would simulcast with Barnkanalen in the evenings and from 27 September 2004, the evening slot would be occupied by Kunskapskanalen.
The TV ship was removed in the autumn of 2005 and its presenters was integrated with Bolibompa, the evening children strand on SVT1. Bolibompa would from then be the brand for pre-school programming on Barnkanalen as well. Twebby was discontinued later in the autumn.
In February 2006, Barnkanalen got new graphics and Joppe and Nella were removed. Instead, a new show called Bobster was shown between the programmes in the afternoon. Bobster would also broadcast between 7 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. in SVT1.
On 1 September 2007 Barnkanalen had its broadcasting hours extended to 7 p.m., allowing Bobster to broadcast for another hour. On 25 August 2008 SVT made a major reshuffle in its schedules. This meant that the primetime broadcasts from Bolibompa at 6 p.m. and Bobster at 7 p.m. that were previously broadcast on SVT1 would be moved to Barnkanalen. Barnkanalen was upgraded as one of the three main channels from SVT, meaning that the channel would receive most of SVT´s funding for children´s programmes. With the reorganization, Barnkanalen was given a new look. The new logo reads "SVTB", but it is still referred to as "Barnkanalen".
SVTB would now start every day at 6.30 a.m. with programmes aimed at pre-schoolers under the Bolibompa brand. This includes presenter-lead segments called Bolibompamorgon between 7 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. on Weekdays and Bolibompahelg between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Weekends. Bolibompa continues until 3 p.m. when Bobster for the older children starts. On Weekends, Bobster starts at 2 p.m. Bobster also includes a news update from Lilla Aktuellt every weekday at 4 p.m. The primetime edition of Bolibompa broadcast between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. This is followed by Bobster between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Since the programming in the mornings is mostly aimed and preschoolers, it is either Swedish language in original, dubbed into Swedish or silent. Dubbing is expensive to do, as is producing new programmes. So most of the shows have been shown on SVT before, except for a few ones that have been dubbed recently.
Older programming shown in the mornings include Professor Balthazar, Doctor Snuggles and the Alfons Åberg films. Pingu was also aired on Barnkanalen.
Barnkanalen also shows some animation aimed at older children with its original sound track, for example the Japanese Cardcaptor Sakura and American Animaniacs and AAAHH!!! Real Monsters. Notably, there is a version of Real Monsters dubbed into Swedish, but it is only shown in the competing satellite channel Nickelodeon Scandinavia. Other animated programmes are the animated Mr. Bean, Garfield and Friends and Code Lyoko.
Other acquired programming include drama series from several countries, such as Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and Japan.
The many Australian drama series shown in the channel include Mirror, Mirror, Search for Treasure Island, Home Farm Twins, Saddle Club and Ocean Star. American shows include PBS series such as Ramona and Nickelodeon series The Secret World of Alex Mack. From the UK comes the Central series Woof! and Press Gang.
Since 2011, Barnkanalen has been responsible for airing the Junior Eurovision Song Contest after previously having been aired on SVT 1.
Initially Barnkanalen was available on satellite from Canal Digital, on certain digital cable distributors and free-to-air in the digital terrestrial network, being the first channel to broadcast without encryption in the network. An agreement of distribution on the Viasat platform was settled in 2003. A few days earlier, SVT had decided to allow cable networks to transform the digital signal into analogue format.
Many cable companies used copyright issues motivate an additional fee for the channel. An agreement that would make SVT pay the copyright costs was made some years later and made Barnkanalen (as well as Kunskapskanalen and SVT24) available in the analogue basic packages on the two major cable distributors, UPC Sverige and Com Hem, from 1 July 2005. This increased the penetration of the channel dramatically.
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