New 24/7 Nine PBS KIDS Channel Expands Access

Last Updated by Dale Fisher on

The enhanced channel will reach even more children with high-quality educational content anytime, anywhere.

The Nine Network is dedicated to harnessing the power of public media to make a positive early impact in the lives of all children in our region. That’s why we’re so excited to announce a major new expansion in our capabilities when it comes to providing quality, informative content to young viewers.

Starting January 16, Nine PBS KIDS® will take the place of Nine Kids as dedicated children’s programming from the Nine Network. Nine PBS KIDS is a 24-hour television channel, with online streaming access, and interactive gaming features on any Internetconnected device. This will give parents access to the highest quality educational content wherever they are and whenever they want, including primetime and after-school hours when viewing among families is high.

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The importance of early childhood education cannot be overstated; it’s a critical theme of our work at the Nine Network. The new launch provides quality children’s programming that is grounded in evidencebased learning principles. We work closely with the St. Louis Early Childhood Commission and we connect our region’s early childhood education leaders to help achieve early education priorities. Our partnership with the St. Louis Public Library to present the popular Story Time in the Commons is just one example of our commitment to early childhood education.

Research confirms 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. “Nine is one of the innovators and facilitators of educational innovation. What public media is doing is significantly different than any other media source that we’ve been involved in,” says Steve Zwolak, CEO of LUME Institute, executive director of University City Children’s Center, and an American Graduate champion.

“Parents know that PBS KIDS makes a difference in their children’s lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day. Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income families,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “The new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream offered by the Nine Network ensure that educational media is available to all families, all the time and via a platform that works for them. Given that 54% of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission.”

Rising demand for streaming video

The way people of all ages consume media is changing. In the same way that we at the Nine Network feel the need to accommodate shifting preferences for accessing content in our adult viewers, we’ve recognized the need to adapt our programming for younger viewers as well.

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Reflecting rising demand for streaming video and immersive experiences, online streaming and other interactive features are meant to foster the next generation of digital learners with the skills to help them to become lifelong learners in the workplaces of tomorrow. The availability of multiplatform learning options continues to grow both at home and in the classroom, making a more interactive educational experience more widely available—and increasingly more necessary—than ever before. And content from PBS KIDS is the trusted choice.

Nine PBS KIDS makes proven, curriculum-based educational content available to all young viewers. That’s why, in addition to 24/7 access on the web, the channel is accessible without a cable subscription or Internet access by using only a TV antenna on channel 9.2.

Viewers who prefer to live stream can do so 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.

Following its initial launch, the live stream experience will expand to offer integrated games. 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.

This article appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of nineMagazine.

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