PBS today announced that it will launch new 24/7 children’s services later this year. Provided by local stations, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms.
PBS stations across the nation will be able to broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on an additional television channel and offer a live stream, making it easy for children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours. Viewers will be able to watch the station-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, tablets and over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast.
The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org.
“Parents know that PBS KIDS makes a difference in their children’s lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day. Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income familiesiii,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream offered by local member stations ensure that educational media is available to all families, all the time and via a platform that works for them. Given that 54% of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschooliv, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission.”
Following its initial launch, the live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.
In the coming year, PBS and member stations will roll out a variety of additional initiatives designed to meet the needs of today’s children, including new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content, digital innovations and customizable tools for parents and caregivers.