Nickelodeon is an American basic cable and satellite television network launched on 1 December 1977 and is owned by ViacomCBS, through ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, and based in New York City.
Their preschool block, Nick Jr. aired Thomas & Friends in the UK and Ireland from 1999-2017 and aired Shining Time Station throughout the summer of 2000 in the US to promote the film Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
In the Netherlands, Thomas & Friends aired on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. from 1 September 2002, starting with Series 6, up until 10 May 2015. Series 6 to Series 11 and Series 13 premiered on this channel. Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. also re-aired Series 1 to Series 5. From Series 6 to Series 11, Nickelodeon was the first broadcaster to air these series worldwide.
Thomas & Friends aired on Nickelodeon in the US on 15 December 2017 with a showing of The Christmas Coffeepot and Terence Breaks the Ice. The following week, Emily in the Middle, Daisy's Perfect Christmas, The Big Freeze and Over the Hill aired on the Nick Jr. channel.
After PBS' contract for the series ended on 31 December 2017, Mattel announced that Nick Jr. will be the new US home for Thomas & Friends beginning on 12 March 2018 with an airing of The Adventure Begins. Nickelodeon also aired episodes and at the time, they were the exclusive consumer products licenser for the US.
In 2020, Mattel ended their contract with Nickelodeon and made a new deal with Netflix to stream Thomas & Friends episodes in March the same year.
- Prior to Nick airing the series, the Minis line released toys resembling SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Ranger characters.
- Shout! Factory also made Nickelodeon DVDs for the US market.