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Published: Tue, January 17, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

PBS KIDS debuts on 75 PBS stations including Costa Mesa


Viewers can also live stream the programming via pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video app for mobile phones and tablets.

Seventy-five PBS stations, including KQED in the Bay Area, are expected to launch PBS Kids on regular television on Monday. "As the only free national 24/7 kids' TV service in the US, the PBS KIDS channel will be a game changer for all families - especially our nation's most underserved, many of whom do not attend preschool and rely exclusively on over-the-air television for media content". Over 70% of those markets will have access to the channel starting January 16, with the others becoming available in the next few months.

PBS KIDS will not acquire programming specifically for the new service.

The first family-themed event kicks off on April 21, featuring the world premieres of PBS KIDS movies such as Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip, Wild Kratts Alaska: Hero's Journey, Ready Jet Go!: Return to Bortron 7 and Arthur and the Haunted Treehouse.

The PBS KIDS app now has more than 16 million downloads, with 4 billion streams for 2016, so the demand for this content is clearly there. This would make the channel available to 90% of U.S. TV households.

However, the larger plan is to expand beyond live TV and video streaming, says PBS.

Public television station KNCT, based at Central Texas College, will launch 24/7 PBS shows on Channel 46-2.

The PBS KIDS 24/7 channel launch schedule includes 21 PBS KIDS series.

Later this year, the live stream will introduce an integrated games feature, allowing children to move between a show and an activity, which the pubcaster said is the first offering of its kind.

Another TV reporter asked if, in this "post-fact world" since the presidential election PBS had seen an increase in the amount of money it was raising from private individuals and said she hopes they will continue to see strong support from individuals in this era which, she said, she had every reason to believe would be the case. Except now, instead of having characters break the fourth wall and speak directly to the camera to ask questions and prompt responses, kids will be challenged to play a learning game.

The new channel is rolling out beginning today, where it will be offered in addition to the current PBS station.

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