New Year, New Service
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The beginning of a new year offers new opportunities to start afresh. One of our corporate resolutions is to strive to serve children better. In the last two decades, the status of children in our community has deteriorated. Approximately half are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced price meals at public schools. In many of these homes, free over-the-air TV is an educational lifeline.
More than a third of homes with children are “technology poor,” with internet access only via a single shared smart phone. Alternatively, more than 40 percent live in a “technology rich” home with high-speed internet access, multiple desktop and tablet computers, and individual smartphones. As an educational nonprofit television service committed to serving ALL children with 21st century technology solutions, we have a challenge!
Our free over-the-air broadcasting services are remarkably effective. Nielsen data shows that Vegas PBS weekday children’s programs command 73 percent of ALL local TV viewing between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in homes with a child aged 2-11. Talk about market share! Yet research also shows that children watch TV at all hours of the day. With so many parents working second and third shift in the 24-hour Las Vegas economy, a safe and educational place on TV for latchkey kids is essential.
I am thrilled to announce that Vegas PBS will launch VEGAS PBS KIDS, a 24- hour children’s educational channel, on January 16. If you use an antenna, it will be channel 10.3 replacing Vme. It will be Cox Cable channel 113 and CenturyLink Prism channel 11. The service will also be streamed for internet and mobile device viewing. Although negotiations are ongoing, neither Direct TV or Dish will carry the service at its launch.
An important extension of the service will be a large number of enhanced interactive educational games for mobile devices, and parent engagement resources to assist parents in extending the lessons embedded in the TV programs. Through these new 24/7 services,Vegas PBS will help level the playing field for all children – making our educational content available to more Southern Nevada families than ever before, and giving parents (and grandparents or caregivers) more free opportunities to actively engage with their kids and the digital media they enjoy.
The academic success of ALL children is essential to the long-term strength of our community and our nation. That is why your annual financial support of free, overthe- air educational television is so important. As we enter the new year, your support will be delivering educational services in an even more impactful way through the nation’s only free 24/7 educational service for families, allowing them to watch and learn together – anytime and anywhere.
Tom Axtell General Manager