Nickelodeon used to be the most dominant force in kids television. It's franchise was so big that it even topped the cable world as a whole. But nowadays, Nickelodeon has struggled from a lack of innovation and vision. The network doesn't have the best ratings in the world and it has held Spongebob as it's clutch for way to long.
On the positive side, Nickelodeon has finally been successful in copying Disney's formula of creating triple threat stars. Some of those include: Ariana Grande, Jeannette McCurdy and Victoria Justice. At the same time though, none of those stars and their franchises have been able to generate big profits and major ratings for the network. And unfortunately, competition is getting more wild and crazy by the minute.
SeaWorld has recently announced that they're going to develop animation and live action shows through their own production company. Rovio has parlayed the success of it's Angry Birds app into a mobile/online network with many different shows, which will soon be hitting TV screens. Netflix has signed deals to launch original programming on the service while also building up a library full of old shows such as The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps.
Of course, Disney and Cartoon Network are the other key rivals in this space and they will continue to be for a long time. Saban Entertainment, the creators of Power Rangers, have a block on the CW and an on demand network while Litton Entertainment has property stakes on both CBS and ABC. But there is another force to be reckoned with which is coming to the spotlight very quickly.
DreamWorks has began to acquire different classic characters who we all know and love, and is beginning the process of trying to revitalize them for a new generation. They are also advancing the kids comedy format through their YouTube network, Awesomeness TV, which is a hit sensation.
Dreamworks Animation is the future of kids television. Nickelodeon already has an established partnership with the company through "Kung Fu Panda" as well as it's comedy sketch show based on videos from Awesomeness TV. But, if I were Nick, I would make the partnership even deeper.
I would start a production company which is a joint venture between the two and also have a first look deal which aligns the two parties as one, in order to prevent D.W.A from selling any other projects to Cartoon Network, Disney, Netflix or any of the other rival. A character built by Nickelodeon who is also given a quality produced movie and mass exposure through D.W.A.'s internet properties could be the answer to creating the next Spongebob.
Nickelodeon doesn't have the same power as it used to, so spreading your product through multiplatform venues is the only way to get recognition. DreamWorks Animation has those venues needed which would help Nick spread through various media platforms and it also has an array of characters which could help form many different crossover opportunities for both Nick stars and DreamWorks stars.
The potential to crossover helps reinvent and reinvigorate characters who are either overexposed or don't have as much recognition with the audience as it used to. Could you imagine Rocky and Bullwinkle teaming up with Spongebob and Patrick to save the world from Plankton, who teams up with spy agents from Pottsylvania? In my opinion, this is the only way to save Nickelodeon from it's continuing financial woes.