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AETN to launch free 24/7 multiplatform PBS KIDS services Jan. 16

Posted 17 Jan 2017

The Arkansas Educational Television Network will launch AETN PBS KIDS 24/7 on AETN-3 Monday, Jan. 16. The free services will include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms. The effort is AETN's latest initiative to support early learning in Arkansas.

'AETN has been an integral part of the community for years, delivering content and services that parents trust and that move the needle in early learning,' AETN Interim Executive Director Tony Brooks said. 'We are excited to build on the work we do every day for Arkansas 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.'

AETN will broadcast PBS KIDS 24 hours a day on AETN-3 and offer a live stream, making it easy for Arkansas 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 AETN-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.

According to Nielsen data, 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.

With its new 24/7 channel and digital offerings, AETN 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 Smarty Pants survey, PBS KIDS led all networks in improving kids' behavior, with 74 percent of parents saying their child exhibits more positive behavior after engaging with PBS KIDS. 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.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new screen time guidelines, recommending that parents of children 18 months and older introduce high-quality media programming, such as PBS KIDS content, to their kids. Co-viewing and co-playing are strongly encouraged to help them better understand different concepts and how to apply these concepts to the real world.

AETN PBS KIDS will include popular favorites such as 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood,' 'Odd Squad,' 'Wild Kratts,' 'Dinosaur Train;' 'Nature Cat,' 'Ready Jet Go!' and 'Splash and Bubbles.' AETN will provide the PBS KIDS channel in addition to its current primary channel, which will continue to feature a PBS KIDS daytime lineup. The schedule of children's programming on the primary channel will be different from the 24/7 channel, offering families a variety of options.

All of AETN's channels are available free over the air using an antenna. Cable companies are only required to carry the primary channel, AETN; however, many cable companies are choosing to carry AETN's additional channels. At this time, satellite providers only carry AETN. A complete list of cable companies and channels carried is available at aetn.org/channelinformation. As of Jan. 16, AETN World will move to AETN-4, and Arkansas Information Reading Services for the Blind (AIRS) will be available on SAP on AETN World.

The 24/7 PBS KIDS offering is an integral part of AETN'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, AETN 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.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).