PBS Member Stations Across the Country Join the PBS KIDS Sprout Local Marketing Affiliation Program
-- Forty-five PBS Stations in Top 60 DMAs to Support and Present PBS KIDS Sprout in Local Communities Alongside Their Local Cable Provider --
National PBS Meeting, Las Vegas, NV - April 11, 2005 - Following the official launch of PBS KIDS Sprout, the first-ever preschool digital channel and video-on-demand service, PBS today announced that 45 local PBS stations in the Top 60 DMAs will participate in the PBS KIDS Sprout Local Marketing Affiliation Program (LMAP) -- representing nearly 50 percent of U.S. television households. The marketing affiliate program provides stations with an integral local cross-promotional and marketing role in expanding the reach of PBS KIDS programming through PBS KIDS Sprout. The announcement was made at the PBS Showcase in Las Vegas, a national meeting of more than 770 public television leaders.
PBS KIDS Sprout, created in partnership with Comcast, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment, is brought to individual communities through their local cable operator, or via satellite, in association with PBS stations around the country. In addition to offering 24-hour access to signature PBS station programs in their communities, the new service offers long-term revenue potential to be invested back into further strengthening the local PBS stations' commercial-free children's blocks - PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! - delivered to American households free and over-the-air. PBS local member stations continue to be the primary home to the educational programs that children love and parents trust.
The stations participating in the Local Marketing Affiliation Program take a more active role in the partnership through cross-promotion activities with PBS KIDS Sprout and their local cable operator. Under the terms of the agreement, these PBS stations will broadcast FCC compliant on-air spots to build awareness of PBS KIDS Sprout. In addition, PBS KIDS Sprout will run cross-channel spots and print ads promoting the association with local PBS stations. One station in each market will also receive co-branding presence on the VOD menu user interface initially in Comcast markets, with other operators expected to follow. When the technology is available, participating stations will have the opportunity to insert local spots on PBS KIDS Sprout cross-promoting their station. All local PBS stations have the option to work with their local cable provider to coordinate community announcements and events around PBS KIDS Sprout.
"PBS KIDS Sprout provides a second home to some of the best-known and most-loved preschool television shows available at any time families want to watch them," said Wayne Godwin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, PBS. "The marketing initiative marks an unprecedented collaboration between local PBS stations' broadcast and cable systems making a powerful community impact that greatly benefits both partners and the viewers in each market. Having completed a successful first phase of this marketing initiative with a significant number of stations signing on, we look forward to opening up the program to more stations across the country."
"Comcast recognizes the importance and value of the relationship PBS stations have with their members, and we share a commitment to quality children's entertainment," said Amy Banse, Executive Vice President, Content Development, Comcast. "We are dedicated to making a successful local impact with PBS stations as a partner in presenting PBS KIDS Sprout to communities around the country."
In addition to the new PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand service that premiered on April 1, 2005, offering parents 24-hour access to the programs they trust most, a digital cable channel will launch this fall -- making PBS KIDS Sprout a great place for parents and their little ones to enjoy the wonders of early childhood any time they want.
Brought to viewers in association with local PBS stations, PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand now is available for no additional charge to digital cable customers in Comcast markets with VOD service, and will also be available in markets served by Insight Communications. The VOD service will offer 50 hours of programs a month, with twenty-five percent of the programs updated every two weeks, so families will always have a fresh selection of episodes to watch together. The new digital channel will launch this fall on Comcast, Insight Communications and DirecTV, and additional cable and satellite carriage will be announced later this year.
Among the popular and award-winning series that will be available anytime through PBS KIDS Sprout are Sesame Street®, Bob the BuilderTM, Barney & FriendsTM, Thomas & FriendsTM, Angelina BallerinaTM, Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese CatTM, CaillouTM, The Berenstain BearsTM, Jay Jay the Jet PlaneTM, TeletubbiesTM, Dragon TalesTM and many others.
The stations participating in the Local Marketing Affiliation Program include:
Detroit Public Television
Rocky Mountain PBS
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Connecticut Public Television
South Carolina ETV
Salt Lake City
West Palm Beach
Rhode Island PBS
Think TV (WPTD)
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 348 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
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