PBS is set to launch a new, free 24/7 service for kids across TV and digital later this year.
The Public Broadcasting Service’s member stations will have the option to broadcast PBS Kids shows all day long on an additional television channel; a livestream will also follow the linear lineup. The regular PBS channel will still offer a PBS Kids daypart, but the schedule of children’s programming between the two networks will be different.
The PBS Kids channel will include popular favorites, such as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Odd Squad,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Nature Cat,” among others. The Jim Henson Company’s “Splash” is coming this fall.
Following its initial launch, the livestream will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS Kids show and an activity that extends learning. The games will align with the goals of each TV series.
Viewers will be able to watch the station-branded livestream 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.
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.
“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,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income families.”
“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,” she added. “Given that 54 percent of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission.”
Across digital platforms, PBS Kids averages 419.8 million streams per month.