Cutting the cord continues to become a more viable option for plenty of people, but parents have found it a little more difficult, with fewer options available for their kids. Now PBS is coming to the rescue with a new 24-hour network meant just for kids, available both online and via cable, Variety reports.
PBS Kids has existed for some time now, as both a programming block on PBS and as an app available on streaming boxes and mobile devices. Yesterday PBS announced that PBS Kids will be the name of the new network, which will air programming currently available in the PBS Kids block, including Dinosaur Train, Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Ready Jet Go!
The network is being launched because, while PBS already shows most of the shows that will be available on the new network, kids aren’t only watching TV in the morning or the afternoon. The full lineup of the network is still being developed, but it will focus heavily on educational programming.
PBS isn’t the only network with a renewed focus on children’s programming. Last year HBO inked a deal for the rights to Sesame Street, and has said that it plans to launch more programming for kids in the future. On the streaming front, Amazon already has a sizable stable of children’s programming available via Amazon Video, and continues to add more.
Unlike most other streaming options, which require either a monthly fee or a cable subscription, PBS Kids will be free. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that this has been the PBS way since the network launched, but parents will still likely welcome a new, free source of entertainment for their children.
While PBS Kids will launch as a semi-traditional TV network, PBS has plans to develop it into something more over time. Over time the network will offer an “integrated games feature,” which will allow kids to swap between watching shows and playing educational games, all in one place.
No date for the network’s launch has yet been specified, but it will likely debut this fall. The PBS Kids app is currently available on the fourth-generation Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV devices, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.
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