PBS will launch an all-kids-all-day channel later this year, along with an online live stream. Called PBS Kids, the free channel will be available to local PBS stations who’ll run the program on an additional channel and live stream. PBS Kids will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and feature children’s favorites such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Odd Squad, Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train, along with new series like the recently-debuted Nature Cat and Ready Jet Go!
PBS Kids is likely to arrive in the fall, along with the new series Splash from the Jim Henson Co. PBS channels taking on a new kids channel will continue to include children’s programming – also called PBS Kids – on their primary channels.
“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.”
Kerger said that, given 54% of the nation’s children don’t have available preschools, educational children’s programming “is a critical element of our public service mission.”
Viewers will be able to watch the station-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, available through Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. After the initial launch, the live stream will expand to include a related games feature.
PBS will still offer a PBS Kids day part but with different programs than the new full-time service will show. PBS requires member stations to offer seven hours a day of PBS Kids content, according to Current, a publication that covers public broadcasting. It also notes that the new channel’s programming plans are still being decided.
PBS Kids programming is available online at YouTube. Many of the system’s stations offer shows on an over-the-air multicast channel. Shows also are available on demand via the PBS Kids Video app, and on Netflix.