|Launched||May 11, 2006|
|Owned by||First Media|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
720p (HDTV) 16:9 Letterbox
|Slogan||Watch Your Baby Blossom It Takes Two To Blossom|
|Language||English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Turkish, German, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Arabic, and Hebrew|
|Broadcast area||United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Canada, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Africa, Oceania|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|DirecTV (United States)||Channel 293 (SD)|
|Dish Network (United States)||Channel 823|
|Sky (Latin America)||Channel 327|
|Digiturk (Turkey)||Channel 64|
|Dish Home (Nepal)||Channel 802|
|OrangeTV (Indonesia)||Channel 303|
|XFINITY/Comcast||Channel 125/ 314|
|Suddenlink Communications (USA)||Channel 309|
|Rogers (Canada)||Channel 233|
|UPC Polska (Poland)||Channel 667|
|ZON TVCabo (Portugal)||Channel 46|
|First Media (Indonesia)||Channel 128|
|SkyCable (Philippines)||Channel 121|
|Parasat Cable TV (Cagayan de Oro)||Channel 103|
|Unifi TV (Malaysia)||Channel 561|
|Channel 170 (SD)|
|CHT MOD (Taiwan)||112|
|Macau Cable TV (Macau)||732|
|Verizon FiOS (United States)||765 (HD)|
1719 (Spanish feed)
|Amazon Fire TV (USA)||118|
BabyFirst is an American TV channel that produces and distributes content for babies' ages 0-3 and their parents through television, the internet, and mobile applications. The channel is owned by First Media. The content is intended to develop an infant's skills, such as color recognition, counting and vocabulary.
BabyFirst was founded in 2004 by Guy Oranim and Sharon Rechter. The network was launched on May 11, 2006 on DirecTV and made available through EchoStar's Dish Network that June. The network is based in Los Angeles and was initially funded by Regency Enterprises (a Hollywood movie studio), Kardan (a holding company) and Bellco Capital (a private fund). BabyFirst was controversial as the first 24-hour channel for children six months to three years in age, but it was popular among parents and grew quickly.
In the 2000s, the Federal Trade Commission responded to a complaint by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood alleging that BabyFirst's advertising that it helped babies develop skills was misleading. The FTC did not impose any sanctions.
By 2008, it was broadcasting in ten territories in the Asia Pacific, such as China and Korea. In October 2008, SingTel started distributing the channel to the Singapore audience. It was also being broadcast in Africa and Latin America. In May 2008, it signed a distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable. In 2009, HBO Asia became the exclusive distributor for the channel in Asia.
In 2011, BabyFirst obtained agreements to distribute the channel in the United Kingdom through the BSkyB satellite network as well as in Mexico through Sky Mexico and Cablevision. A French version was introduced with CanalSat in 2011. By the end of 2011, it had arranged broadcasting agreements throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.
In 2013, former ABC Network President Steven McPherson and Rich Frank, the former chairman of Disney Channel became investors and board members as the company worked to develop new content and improve advertising revenues. In May 2014, BabyFirst and AT&T U-verse released a co-developed second-screen app for mobile devices for children to interact with the television programming through tablets or smartphones.
BabyFirst's television channel provides 24-hour programming for babies. About 90 percent of the 90 shows BabyFirst produces are original content created at its studios. Acquired programs include Shape A Majigs, Mio Mao, Ready Dress Go, Squeak!, Tec the Tractor, Suzy's Zoo, Color Crew, and Rainbow Horse. The format of the network limits each of the network's presentations to three to five minutes of length that are either live-action or animated.
The New York Times described the content as "decidedly unhurried," making extensive use of bright colors and upbeat music. Programming development is guided by child psychology experts and is designed to encourage a child's skills development, such as counting, vocabulary and color recognition. The BabyFirst logo in the corner changes colors to indicate the skills a segment is intended to develop. Late-night programming is intended to lull viewers to sleep.
Some experts argue that exposing children to television at such an early age is taking technology too far or that parents are using BabyFirst as a digital babysitter. Parents in-turn refute that argument, claiming that experts have lost touch with the realities of raising a child. BabyFirst suggests the programming is intended to be watched by parents and their children together in an interactive way.