Cartoon Network Australia and New Zealand is an Australian cable and satellite television channel created by Turner Broadcasting, a unit of Time Warner which primarily shows animated programming, It was launched on 3 October 1995.
The Australian version is available on cable TV networks Foxtel and Optus on 3 October 1995. It is also on 3 as a part of its new mobile TV service for $4 a month although this feed is merely a heavily repeated media stream of Cartoon Network's best shows. Telstra also broadcasts Cartoon Network on mobile service, though this is the same feed as seen on Foxtel. Neighbourhood Cable broadcasts the network in yet another feed in regional Victoria. Sky Network Television has broadcast the network in New Zealand, on 1 January 1997 originally during the day on Sky UHF preset channel 7 with Orange (later Sky 1, The Box, and now Sky 5) broadcasting during the evenings. The Cartoon Network became a separate 24-hour channel in New Zealand in 1998 when the Sky Digital service was launched. Cartoon Network Australia and Asia adopted the 24/7 broadcasting hours earlier on 1 July 1997.
Cartoon Network started its broadcast in Australia in 1995 as the dual-channel TNT & Cartoon Network as part of the Foxtel cable TV launch, operating from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with Turner Classic Movies (formerly TNT) taking the remainder of the daily schedule. On 1 July 1997, Cartoon Network Australia became a separate 24-hour channel, with exclusive local feeds for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Darwin, etc. It originally aired only Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Yogi Bear, Top Cat, The Flintstones etc. The channel quickly started to develop though, airing for the first time MGM cartoons (Tom and Jerry, Droopy, and Spike and Tyke) on 1 January 1996, and (after Time Warner's purchase of Turner in 1996) Warner Bros. shows (Looney Tunes, and several other Looney Tunes related cartoons) on 1 January 1997. In Mid-1997, Cartoon Network started to air its first original shows (Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Dexter's Laboratory and The Moxy Show), however The Moxy Show was soon cancelled. On 22 August 1999, Cartoon Network introduced a new rebrand, introducing new bumpers, new shows and a new 'powerhouse' theme.
In April 2004, the channel was added to TransTV. In addition, Cartoon Network for a brief period would show segments of kids getting prizes during the holidays but this was axed from poor viewer response. Cartoon Network had, up until mid-2004, been tied with the Disney Channel as Australia's most popular family network. The removal of older programming from the network during this period led to a fall in average audience share during 2004 as fans of older cartoons moved to Boomerang. Cartoon Network had slipped to second spot among Australian family networks behind the Disney Channel.
In February 2008, Adult Swim relaunched on The Comedy Channel airing shows such as Robot Chicken and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. The network transitioned to a widescreen format presentation on 30 November 2010, ahead of a deadline by Foxtel to do so.
On February 7, 2017, Cartoon Network Australia announced an exclusive Video On-Demand content deal with streaming service - Stan. As part of the deal, episodes from some shows such as Adventure Time and The Powerpuff Girls will premiere on Stan at the same time as the Cartoon Network Australia channel.
A time block suited for mature audience, targeting adults at least 17 years old and above. The anime block aired from Monday to Thursday and started at 10:00pm and ended at 12:00am. The comedy block aired on Fridays and Saturdays and started at 10:30 pm and ended at 12:00 am with an encore till 1:30. Before the block was ceased Squidbillies also premiered with a special disclaimer about the content, as did most of the anime.
Prior to its removal for strategic reasons, the Australian feed was one in the Asia-Pacific region to have this block. This block is currently shown on The Comedy Channel with Harvey Birdman and Aqua Teen Hunger Force as well as the premiere of Robot Chicken and Moral Orel. Most of the anime that previously aired on Adult Swim now air on the Sci Fi Channel with its own anime block.
Madman Entertainment has also been releasing Adult Swim DVD in region 4 starting with Aqua Teen, Harvey Birdman and Robot Chicken in 2007. It has since released most volumes of every series that has a DVD, including future releases.
Prior becoming a standalone channel in March 2004, Boomerang was its own block dedicated to older Hanna Barbara cartoons.
As mentioned previously, Cartoon Network's sister TV channel Boomerang was originally a Cartoon Network block for the lesser-known Hanna-Barbera classic cartoons that didn't already have regular half-hour slots. It began in April 2001 as a morning block airing at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, but in August 2001 also aired as an hour-long mini-block in Cartoon Network After Dark. The shows on Boomerang changed randomly every week, for both the morning and the evening block. The Boomerang blocks had bumpers which featured children's toys of characters in Hanna-Barbera cartoons coming to life, identical to the Boomerang bumpers used in the United States. These bumpers were sometimes also used on the TV channel. The evening block last aired in March 2002, and the morning block last aired in September 2004. However late-night airings of Boomerang on Cartoon Network continued until early 2005, when the Boomerang channel received a face-lift. In late 2012, it received the looks of Boomerang (UK & Ireland)