WPT to Launch Free Localized 24/7 Multiplatform PBS KIDS Services

January 6, 2017

For More Information:

Jonna Mayberry, WPT publicist, jonna.mayberry@wpt.org

WPT to Launch Free Localized 24/7 Multiplatform PBS KIDS Services

New WPT PBS KIDS TV Channel and Live Stream Will Support WPT’s Mission to Provide Wisconsin Children With High-Quality Educational Content

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s services on Jan. 16, 2017. Provided by WPT, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is WPT’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community.

WPT will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on an additional television channel called WPT PBS KIDS and offer a live stream, making it easy for Wisconsin children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high.

WPT’s four channels – WPT, The Wisconsin Channel, Create and the new WPT PBS KIDS channel – are available over the air via antenna and to all cable and satellite providers. If you watch WPT over the air with an antenna, you also are able to watch The Wisconsin Channel, Create and WPT PBS KIDS for free. All four will be grouped under the same channel number (xx–1, –2 and –3 –4 respectively). If you do not see all four channels, try to re-scan for channels using your TV’s menu.

WPT offers all four channels to all cable and satellite providers, and some cable providers will carry all four. If you are not able to find the new WPT PBS KIDS channel, ask your provider whether the channel is in your line-up. If not, ask them to consider adding the channel. Please note that channel number assignments are determined by your provider.

Viewers will be able to watch a live stream of the WPT PBS KIDS channel at wpt.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.

“This is a wonderful complement to WPT’s expanded educational offerings, particularly as we celebrate the centennial of public broadcasting in Wisconsin and connect with a new generation of viewers,” said Jon Miskowski, WPT’s director of television. “We’re especially grateful to Dr. Monroe E. and Sandra Trout and their family for a generous gift that helps us provide access for all Wisconsin families.”

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.

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.[if !supportFootnotes][i] With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, WPT will build on this reach and impact.

Through this effort, WPT 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.[if !supportFootnotes][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.[if !supportFootnotes][iii]

Designed to meet the needs of today’s kids, WPT’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.[if !supportFootnotes][iv] Most kids’ TV viewing takes place on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings.[if !supportFootnotes][v] This trend is true for all children, but especially for those in low-income families.[if !supportFootnotes][vi]

The WPT 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. WPT will provide PBS KIDS programming 24/7 on WPT PBS KIDS. The WPT flagship channel will continue to feature PBS KIDS programming during the day. The schedule of children’s programming on the flagship WPT channel will be different from the 24/7 WPT PBS KIDS channel, offering families a variety of options. The full local schedule will be available at wpt.org.

The 24/7 WPT PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of WPT’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. WPT’s education department works with Wisconsin educators to provide free Wisconsin-focused curriculum resources, including toolkits and lesson plans. WPT’s annual Get Up and Go! Day highlights ways Wisconsin families can be active, enjoy the outdoors and be healthy. Visit wpt.org/education to learn more about WPT’s education initiatives.  

WPT is a service of the Educational Communications Board and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Wisconsin Public Television is a place to grow through learning on WHA-TV, Madison; WPNE-TV, Green Bay; WHRM-TV, Wausau; WLEF-TV, Park Falls; WHLA- TV, La Crosse; and WHWC-TV, Menomonie-Eau Claire.

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