Nickelodeon Japan (lost final sign-off of Japanese TV channel; 2009)
Nickelodeon Japan (ニコロデオン) was a children's television station operated by Viacom International from 1998 to 2009 for the Japanese TV market.
The channel would air Japanese dubs of various American Nickelodeon shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Drake and Josh. While the shows that aired on Nick Japan are well-documented and ended up on various different networks, the channel's final sign-off on September 30th, 2009 is not.
During the 1990s, the Nickelodeon brand was doing well in the United States. Viacom wanted to broadcast Nickelodeon programming to a wider audience and started to launch Nickelodeon channels around the world. Nick Japan launched in November 1998 to introduce Nickelodeon programming for a Japanese audience. The network aired many of Nickelodeon's programs between 1998 and 2009, dubbed in the Japanese language.
On September 30th, 2009, the same day that Nickelodeon internationally changed its logo and branding, Nick Japan went off the air forever due to a decline in viewership. The only traces left of Nick Japan are recordings of the channel, as well as an archive the Nick Japan website from around 2006.
Between 2009 and 2018, several of Nick's shows instead aired on other channels, such as Disney XD, NHK Hulu Japan, dTV-Channel Japan, and Prime Video. SpongeBob SquarePants immediately moved over to MTV Japan, and later Animax under a new block called "NickTime".
There are three videos currently available rumored to be footage of the channel's shutdown. One or more of them may be simultaneously real or fake, owing to differences in cable services/satellite services etc. The validity (or lack thereof) of any of these videos have not yet been proven definitively, as the matter is still being discussed.
First shutdown video "SpongeBob"
Footage cuts out during a SpongeBob channel ID or Up Next bumper and goes immediately to color bars. This shutdown was originally uploaded onto the Japanese video sharing site NicoVideo by the user A58RG on 29 Sep 2009 at 00:30 JST.
Second shutdown video "Black/Color Bars"
After a Channel ID, footage cuts to black with color bar noise, and then shortly afterward, the color bars come in, slightly darker than normal. The Nickelodeon bug remains on the screen. After a while, it cuts to static. This was uploaded by YouTube user nickjp fan, account created on the same day as the upload.
Third shutdown video "Bull and Red"
Following the credits for the "Bull and Red" short, an ident starring a dragon who chases a rolling orange pill plays. A black screen showing an error message "このチャンネルはありません。 P007" (This channel is not available. P007) from the Sky PerfecTV! UI appears. After a minute, with the current time shown as 0:01, the electronic program guide is opened, saying "searching for information" then "information is not available". Two Japanese blog posts over the web that were published on September 30 and October 2, 2009, respectively, refer to the image of the dragon eating the pill as the last one that aired before the shutdown.
- The original upload of a possible Nick Japan shutdown on nicovideo. Retrieved 01 Sep '20
- RapidTV's article on Nickelodeon returning to Japan via dTV-Channel Japan and Hulu Japan. Retrieved 30 Jan '18
- Now watching Nick. Retrieved 31 Mar '21
- Goodbye Nickelodeon. Retrieved 31 Mar '21
- Post by the uploader where he states, two days later, that it wasn't fake and that it was shown like that on Hikari-one Retrieved 15 Nov '20