|Headquarters||Burnaby, British Columbia,Canada|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Owner||Knowledge West Communications (80%)|
BBC Studios (20%)
|Sister channels||Knowledge Network|
|Launched||November 5, 2001|
|Closed||December 31, 2018|
BBC Kids was a Canadian specialty television channel carrying programming for children and teenagers. It was a joint venture between Knowledge West Communications, which managed the network and held the majority 80% interest and was a subsidiary of Knowledge Network, with BBC Studios licensing the BBC brand and holding the remaining 20% in the JV. Originally an ad-supported network, it transitioned to non-commercial operation when it was transferred to Knowledge.
In November 2000, Alliance Atlantis was granted approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch BBC Kids, described as "a national English language Category 2 (what is the current category B) specialty television service devoted to top-quality educational and entertaining programming for children and youth (ages 2-17). It will feature programming primarily from the UK and around the world. 65% of the programming will target children ages 2 to 11, the majority of which will target 6 to 11 years old and 35% will target youth ages 12 to 17."
The channel launched on November 5, 2001 as a joint venture between Alliance Atlantis and BBC Worldwide, the BBC's overseas operating arm. As was its remit, it primarily sourced its programming from networks and producers from the United Kingdom, though its programming sources were never exclusively limited to those of the BBC. This also included international co-productions, including Tots TV, Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, and The Sleepover Club. It also broadcast a small amount of Canadian and Anglo-Canadian co-productions (including previously-produced Alliance Atlantis programming co-produced with an American network such as PBS, Disney Channel, or Nickelodeon for American broadcast) to meet CRTC Canadian content regulations and quotas.
On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media, acquired control of BBC Kids through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis' broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007. It then became a part of Shaw Communications on October 10, 2010 after it acquired Canwest outright with the GSCP stake in CW Media.
Shaw's ownership would be short-lived due to regulatory requirements to sell some former CW Media assets, and that process started on December 22, 2010 with early due diligence with a then-undisclosed sales partner. On January 17, 2011, Knowledge Network Corporation, a Crown corporation of the Government of British Columbia, announced it had finalized an agreement to purchase the channel through a subsidiary called Knowledge-West Communications Corporation from Shaw Media. BBC Worldwide would retain its existing interest. The sale was completed on April 29, 2011, and with it and CRTC approval, it converted from a commercial network to a non-commercial service, while relocating operations from Toronto to Burnaby in suburban Vancouver.
The transaction resulted in a decision by cable providers in The Bahamas and Jamaica (which generally import Canadian channels onto their services for the convenience of snowbirds visiting the West Indies) to drop the network at the end of 2011.
On October 2, 2018, a joint statement from Knowledge Network and BBC announced the channel would cease operations at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2018. Though there was no reasoning for the closure stated originally, then-Knowledge chief Rudy Buttignol subsequently cited the end of the CRTC's traditional protection of small and independent networks to allow for broader discretionary services without any programming restrictions. Knowledge continues to carry programming from the BBC, and CBBC/CBeebies programming as a part of Knowledge Kids, including programming from BBC Kids merged onto the Knowledge schedule. On January 10, 2019, the CRTC revoked the channel's license at the request of Knowledge.