WVIA TO LAUNCH FREE LOCALIZED 24/7 MULTIPLATFORM PBS KIDS SERVICES
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Pittston, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2016 – Today, WVIA Public Media announced that it will launch new, free localized 24/7 children’s services on January 16, 2017. Provided by WVIA, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is WVIA’s latest initiative to support early learning in the community. WVIA Public Media will broadcast PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day on it’s VIA2 television channel and offer a live stream, making it easy for Northeastern Pennsylvania and Central Susquehanna 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 WVIA-branded live stream through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, tablets and 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.
“WVIA Public Media has been an integral part of the community for fifty years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,” said Tom Currá, WVIA President, CEO & Executive Producer. “We are excited to build on the work we do every day for our viewer’s 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, WVIA Public Media will build on this reach and impact.
Through this effort, WVIA 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, WVIA’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 68% 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 WVIA PBS KIDS 24/7 channel will include popular favorites such as DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, ODD SQUAD, WILD KRATTS and DINOSAUR TRAIN; the new series NATURE CAT and READY JET GO!, which debuted February 15; and SPLASH & BUBBLES, a series from The Jim Henson Company which recently premiered. WVIA will provide the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel in addition to its current primary WVIA channel, which will continue to feature a PBS KIDS day part. The schedule of children’s programming on the primary WVIA channel will be different from the 24/7 channel, offering families a variety of options.
The 24/7 PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of WVIA Public Media’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. In the coming year, WVIA will roll out a variety of additional initiatives designed to meet the needs of today’s children, including new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content, digital innovations and customizable tools for parents and caregivers. WVIA will also continue to offer the region its current educational programs of WVIA’s PBS Kids In the Classroom, Scholastic Scrimmage, Artist of the Week and more. More information on WVIA’s educational offerings can be found at wvia.org/education.
To find out how you can watch the new WVIA PBS KIDS 24/7 channel visit wvia.org
About WVIA Public Media:
WVIA Public Media is a catalyst, convener and educator, using media, partnerships, powerful ideas and programs to improve lives and advance the best attributes of an enlightened society.
WVIA Communications Director
Phone: (570) 602-1144
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[i] Nielsen NPM, NPOWER, 9/22/2014-9/20/2015, Live+7, M-Su 6A-6A time period reach. US K2-5, LOH w/C<6, K2-11 in HH w/Inc<$20K. PBS affiliates, DISNEY, NICK, Disney Junior, Nick Jr., Sprout, TOON & Discovery Family.
[ii] Understanding School Preparedness, Smarty Pants, 2014.
[iii] Learning with PBS KIDS: A Study of Family Engagement and Early Mathematics Achievement, WestEd, 2015.
[iv] Nielsen Total Audience Report 3Q 2015
[v] Nielsen NPOWER Live PUT, 9/28/2015 - 12/27/2015, K2-11 select dayparts
[vi] Nielsen NPOWER Live PUT, 9/28/2015 - 12/27/2015, K2-11 M-F 6-10P, M-F 7-12N, K2-11 in HH w/Inc<$20K.