WTCI TO LAUNCH FREE 24/7 PBS KIDS CHANNEL
Today, WTCI announced that it will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s services on January 16, 2017. Provided by WTCI with generous support from Fletcher Bright and Ken and Byron DeFoor, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is WTCI’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. WTCI will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on an additional television channel (45.3) and offer a live stream, making it easy for Tennessee Valley children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high. Viewers will be able to watch the WTCI-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, and tablets. Soon after launch, the live stream will be available on over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The live stream complements on-demand clips and full episodes, which will continue to be available for free on the PBS KIDS Video App and streaming via pbskids.org.
Following its initial launch, the localized live stream experience will expand to offer an integrated games feature, enabling children to toggle between a PBS KIDS show and an activity that extends learning – all in one seamless digital experience. The live stream and games feature is grounded in research demonstrating that measurable gains in learning are achieved when children engage with PBS KIDS content on multiple platforms. The games will align with the learning goals of each TV series, deepening children’s involvement and supporting learning.
“WTCI has been an integral part of the community for over 45 years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,” said Paul Grove, President and CEO of WTCI. “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for Chattanooga area families by adding these new 24/7 services to our offerings, ensuring that our proven educational content is accessible anytime and anywhere to all kids – especially those who need it the most.”
PBS stations reach more kids aged 2-5, more moms with children under 6 years old and more children from low-income families than any other kids TV network.[i] With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, WTCI will build on this reach and impact.
Through this effort, WTCI will extend its commitment to early learning by offering more families high-quality PBS KIDS content that is trusted by parents and proven to help kids learn. In a recent survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids’ behavior, with 74% of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS.[ii] And years of research confirm that PBS KIDS media content helps children build critical skills that enable them to find success in school and life, while also helping parents increase their own engagement. A recent study conducted by WestEd found that PBS KIDS resources can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. Additionally, parents’ awareness of their children’s math learning increased significantly – as did their use of strategies to support their children’s learning.[iii]
Designed to meet the needs of today’s kids, WTCI’s new, free 24/7 services will provide learning opportunities for children whenever and wherever they access media. Nielsen data demonstrate that live TV is the dominant way children access video, accounting for 67% of the time children spend watching video content.[iv] Most kids’ TV viewing takes place on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings.[v] This trend is true for all children, but especially for those in low-income families.[vi]
The WTCI PBS KIDS 24/7 channel will include popular favorites such as DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, ODD SQUAD, WILD KRATTS and DINOSAUR TRAIN; PBS KIDS’ newest series SPLASH AND BUBBLES, NATURE CAT and READY JET GO! will also be featured. WTCI will provide the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel on 45.3 in addition to its current primary channel, which will continue to feature a PBS KIDS day part. The schedule of children’s programming on the primary channel will be different from the 24/7 channel, offering families a variety of options. The full local schedule is available at wtciTV.org.
The 24/7 PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of WTCI’s long-term vision for its children’s service and will build on its reach and impact in the community, where it provides essential services for kids, parents and teachers. WTCI serves over 440,000 television households in the Tennessee Valley with quality, trusted educational programming on-air and resources on-line, in the classroom and in the community.