Television

PBS Kids Go! channel to launch in October 2006

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MUMBAI: PBS will be launching a new 24-hour digital broadcast channel for early elementary school-age children, called the PBS Kids Go! channel in October 2006. The new channel, which follows the success of the PBS Kids Go! afternoon programming block on PBS member stations, will be entirely devoted to early elementary school kids, an audience with limited choices for media content that is educational and entertaining.

The announcement was made by PBS Kids Next Generation Media senior vice president Lesli Rotenberg.

"This age group is just entering school and is experiencing unique, first- time life events but they have limited educational entertainment choices that support this very important developmental stage. As an extension of the PBS Kids Go! block, the PBS Kids Go! Channel provides this inquisitive, curious and media savvy age group with fun, educationally based programming that fulfills our mission of empowering today's 'big' kids to discover themselves, explore new relationships and embrace a love of learning," said Rotenberg.

Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, produced by WGBH Boston, premieres during PBS Kids Go! on PBS member stations' national broadcast service beginning 29 May and will be a part of the PBS Kids Go! Channel in October.

Other new additions to the PBS Kids Go! Channel will include:

KidsWorld Sports, WishBone and Kratts' Creatures in 2006, and Animalia in 2007. Each of these programs will also have a new companion internet site on pbskidsgo.org.

Favorites from the current PBS Kids Go! programming line-up will also be a part of the channel including Maya & Miguel, Postcards from Buster, Arthur, CyberChase, Zoom and DragonFly TV. The PBS Kids Go! programming block launched in October 2004 and continues to be a success with early elementary school viewers. PBS has seen a 17 per cent increase in national viewership among 6 six to eight year olds, while remaining steady with preschoolers during the afternoon time period.

Also new to the PBS Kids Go! Channel will be a Spanish language block called Vayan! (which means "go" in Spanish). The one-hour block will include existing PBS Kids Go! series, such as Maya & Miguel and CyberChase, in Spanish with English subtitles. With the addition of this block, not only is PBS continuing to serve the fastest growing segment of the US population but it is also providing tools for students who are learning Spanish as a second language. PBS' daytime audience already exceeds the percentages of minority breakdowns that make up the US population -- for example, Hispanics compose 12.5 per cent of PBS' Daytime audience but only 9.8 per cent of the US population.

The PBS Kids Go! Channel is part of the PBS Kids Next Generation Media initiative, the previously announced broad-based five year initiative that provides a framework for addressing the changing digital children's media landscape and the way kids consume media today. Consistent with that mission, the PBS Kids Go! Channel will feature age-appropriate interactive content at pbskidsgo.org and on the Internet sites for the new broadcast series.

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