Penn State

WPSU launches 24/7 digital channel for kids

Daniel Tiger and friends perform during “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” on Sundayat Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium. WPSU Kids, a 24/7 digital channel aimed exclusively at children is launching Monday.
Daniel Tiger and friends perform during “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” on Sundayat Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium. WPSU Kids, a 24/7 digital channel aimed exclusively at children is launching Monday. psheehan@centredaily.com

Parents of Centre County, it just got a lot easier to steal some alone time.

On Monday, WPSU Penn State is launching a new 24/7 digital channel aimed exclusively at children.

Bolstered by a series of familiar titles such as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Odd Squad,” WPSU Kids will be accessible via your TV remote or other digital device.

Greg Petersen, WPSU’s director of broadcasting, says the channel will provide busy families with more flexibility.

“You can sit down with your young kids and watch it with them,” Petersen said.

We’ll just call that “Plan B.”

According to Petersen, PBS has been developing the initiative for a channel devoted to children’s programming for about two years now, but acquiring the digital and streaming rights to the all of the shows took some doing.

The extra effort will probably pay off. In the age of Netflix and portable streaming devices, audiences have grown accustomed to getting their content when, where and how they want it.

“We find more and more people want things on demand,” Petersen said.

Fortunately there’s just as much supply to match. WPSU Kids programming will be available on wpsu.org, pbskids.org, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One.

If you feel like taking your TV remote for some exercise, try Brockway Cable Channel 78 or Comcast Channels 181, 198, 206, 236, 239, 243 and 250, depending on your location.

Petersen takes pride in PBS’ youth programming and the trust he believes it has cultivated among viewers. In a perfect world, the capacity of a WPSU Kids show to enlighten and inform is equal to its potential for entertainment.

“It’s there to treat our youngest audience as individuals, not consumers,” Petersen said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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