PBS is prepping for a 24/7 children’s television channel and web stream.
The channel, part of the company’s existing PBS Kids franchise, has not been named at this time. It is expected to include daytime programming and an on-demand streaming service.
The idea behind the service is to provide a live feed of shows that children can turn on and watch in real-time, while also providing the ability to choose shows in a Netflix type of scenario.
PBS, a publicly-funded broadcaster, is focused on delivering top-notch educational programs to low-income families who may not have access to high speed internet. The new channel will increase access to children’s programming over the public airwaves.
PBS stations across the country will be able to broadcast it as a digital subchannel (If your main PBS station is 8.1, the kids programming could be on 8.2.).
Some of PBS’s bigger stations already have a similar children’s programming option, but most do not.
The PBS Kids web site and app will also stream the channel, allowing for access through internet-connected TVs, and devices such as the Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and other devices.
“Given that 54% of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission,” PBS CEO Paula Kerger said in a statement.
While PBS has done a great job of airing children’s programming during the day, they are now aiming to broadcast that same educational programming “during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high.”
PBS says the forthcoming channel will have a wide variety of shows, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Wild Kratts,” “Dinosaur Train,” and “Odd Squad.”
Eventually the network hopes to add interactivity to the live stream, allowing viewers to jump from show to interactive educational games.