Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has announced on Tuesday, Feb. 23 that the nonprofit is set to launch a new 24-hour channel exclusive for children. The new channel will be available later this year.
New York Times reported that PBS, an American public broadcaster and television program distributor, is creating a new 24-hour subchannel intended solely for kids' programming. The subchannel, which will be called PBS Kids, will be free and accessible online with a live stream.
The forthcoming channel, which is expected to debut in fall, will be used to air PBS's popular children's shows such as Wild Kratts, Dinosaur Train, Odd Squad and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. On the other hand, it will also be available on the PBS Kids website and app along with its educational game features.
Paula Kerger, the chief executive of PBS, clarified that the new channel was not created as a fundraising effort; instead, it will stand out from other children's programming because it is free with an emphasis on educational content.
Kerger explained that the idea of creating PBS Kids came after they discovered that there are children who are watching PBS programs all day. "There are a lot of children, particularly that are home in early prime time, we aren't able to accommodate them except for on-demand. Given the fact that there are so many kids where on-demand is not an option, we want to be able to reach those kids."
The recent move of PBS is an addition to various children's programs that have been made available lately. Netflix and Amazon have been offering more children's programs in the past months. HBO has also started broadcasting the latest season of "Sesame Street" last month and it will be launching more children's shows in the coming months.
According to CNN, this is not the first time that PBS will offer a kids' channel. PBS Kids was already available in early 2000s but it was not widely distributed. It was repackaged as "Sprout" after partnering with Comcast, but went off-air in 2013.