Nickelodeon sees growth slashed by BBC Choice

LONDON - Nickelodeon Jr, the Viacom-owned pre-school channel, has seen the growth of viewing figures almost halt since BBC Choice began broadcasting day time pre-school programming, according to internal research at the cable and satellite channel.

The findings of the research, based on barb figures, go some way to substantiate Nickelodeon's claim that the BBC's plans to provide children's programming on its new digital channels BBC3 and BBC 4 during the day will encroach on rival commercial stations.

Back in January, Nickelodeon teamed up with rival commercial broadcasters including MTV, CNN, Nickelodeon, Telewest, Discovery and the Cartoon Network to try and put a stop to the corporation's plans on the basis that the market was already well served.

However, the public welcomed the BBC's proposals after it ran a six-week public consultation during October and November, following a series of on-air trails about its digital plans.

The corporation is obligated to seek the licence payers' view on any new proposals before they receive government clearance.