PBS is starting a new 24-hour channel dedicated solely to children’s programming.
The channel, which will be called PBS Kids and will be announced on Tuesday, will be free. It is expected to debut later this year — most likely in the fall. PBS Kids will also be available online with a live stream.
More children’s programming is available than ever, much of it being watched through streaming services and on-demand.
Netflix has significantly increased its children’s offerings in recent years, and it is expected to have 35 original series for children by year’s end.
Last month, HBO began broadcasting the latest season of “Sesame Street,” after it took over first-run rights for the series from PBS. HBO has said more children’s programming is coming, and Amazon has also produced shows aimed at that demographic.
PBS will use the channel to broadcast popular shows already on its stations, like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Wild Kratts.”
PBS Kids will exist as a subchannel. Other PBS subchannels include World (which airs mostly documentaries) and Create (which broadcasts shows dedicated to topics like cooking and travel). PBS said the children’s channel was not created with a hope of lifting fund-raising efforts, despite the recent loss of the first-air rights to “Sesame Street.”
“This is not designed in and of itself as a fund-raising effort,” said Paula Kerger, the chief executive of PBS.
The broadcaster said the new channel would be distinguished from other children’s programming for the same reason PBS’s programming has always stood out: It is free, with an emphasis on educational content.
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