It's splitsville for MTV-owned nets Noggin, the N

24-hour outlets to become separate

NEW YORK -- Noggin and the N, two MTV Networks-owned outlets that had been sharing the same channel, will split by year's end and become separate networks.

The N will remain with its channel position, staying as an ad-supported network for tweens and teenagers but for the first time going 24 hours a day. Noggin, a commercial-free network for preschoolers, will take the place of the Nick Games and Sports channel, or GAS, and also run 24 hours a day.

The move takes effect Dec. 31. Both channels will have a distribution of 60 million homes nationwide and are distributed by DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS.

Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group, said the changes will allow the company to focus even further on their niches of ages 2-5, 6-11 and tweens and teenagers.

"(The N and Noggin) don't really match in terms of brands that are on one channel," Zarghami said.

Both channels will have room to grow because there will be more room for the company's library product as well as for new programming. She said both channels have a strong development slate for the new season. Noggin will remain commercial-free, though it does have sponsorships. Its primetime will talk to both preschoolers and their parents, she said.

GAS, which has become a channel for Nickelodeon's game shows and competitions culled from its library, will move to broadband on TurboNick.