Dear Crabby, Why does PBS Broadcast Kids’ Shows 24/7?

Dear Crabby, Why does PBS Broadcast Kids’ Shows 24/7?

Sincerely, Adult Viewer


Dear Adult Viewer,

You must be referring to their one broadcast channel called PBS Kids – well, it’s in their name – one channel (56.2 for our readers) dedicated to children’s programming. But I’ve thought the same thing, why would you want (or need) a broadcast channel playing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, of just programs for children. In the world of On Demand shows, most parents (once their 5-year olds teach them) stream the kid’s favorite programs any time of day. One really good question is why does PBS have kids shows on at two in the morning?

Do they encourage bad parenting? Is this just easier for them? Does the channel reach around the world?

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

No. Maybe. No. I’m guessing it boils down to money – as all things do – some sort of grant or donor demand to have kids shows air on one channel 24/7. Peak viewing for kids crossover to prime time, so they needed a separate channel. PBS Kids started broadcasting in January 2017 and is still going strong.

Here’s the thing that rubs me the wrong way, while that is just one of four broadcast channels in the Metro Detroit area, their main channel (56 for our readers) still airs kids’ shows in the morning (before school) and in the afternoon (after school). Why is this needed when they have a dedicated channel for children?

My favorite PBS channel is their Create channel (56.3 for our readers). It’s got travel and cooking, as well as crafts and woodworking, with fan-favorites like Rick Steves and Under the Radar Michigan. And it does not have any kids’ shows!

I also just found out they had a fourth channel called World (MISSION: To inform and inspire with real stories from around the world), which I’ve yet to really watch. I haven’t seen any children’s shows on Create or World, so that may be the best place for adults to watch 24/7. However, I find many of the children’s shows fun to watch, such as Nature Cat and Dinosaur Train. I’m guessing their main channel is more current affairs, new shows, and general audience, with just a tad too many shows for kids.

Now, I could strike a conversation about how they now have infomercials and ads (yes, ads from their sponsors, but ads nonetheless) and if tax dollars should still go to fund them. But I’ll save that for another article.

So, while I can’t really explain why PBS has a full time channel dedicated to Kids that airs 24/7, I can tell you should be able to find adult programing on one of their other three channels. And finally, if you really want to skip the shows that don’t appeal to you, then watch the ones you like anytime online or get their mobile app to stream to your smartphone or whatnot – most are available there.


Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. John Sanderson says

    That is all well and good, but the lame cable monopolies, Comcast and AT&T, do NOT have anything more than the main channels. How is anyone supposed to get the other three? I already pay far too much ($149/mo), as a 20 year subscriber (with the “special” pricing and NO premium channels) to tell me I have upgrade my hardware and buy special streaming packages.
    Do tell?

    • Hi John, it sounds like Crabby just has broadcast TV. That’s all I have as well. I bought a $10 antenna, hooked it up (super easy), and did a scan for channels from my TV menu. I get about 70 FREE channels. All the channels (since going digital) have more than one each, such as PBS, which has four, as well as 2-4-7-20-50-62 all have their main channel and a couple more. No cable news or premium channels, but hey, it’s all FREE.

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