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PBS Retro is a new FAST channel playing just the classics

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Parents throughout the country just breathed a sigh of relief at the prospect of allowing more screen time for their kids that doesn’t revolve around some really loud and annoying YouTube dude. PBS just launched a new free ad-supported channel called PBS Retro, as reported by The Wrap. As the name suggests, this is a repository for all of your favorite edutainment classics from the 1980s, 1990s and beyond. The nostalgia is strong with this one.

PBS Retro is available via The Roku Channel, which is a streaming service on smart TVs and, of course, Roku devices. The 24/7 channel airs all of the shows you’re likely picturing right now, including Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. You’ll also be able to introduce your kids to Thomas and Friends, Zoboomafoo and Kratt’s Creatures, among others. It’s a collection of old-school classics.

This isn’t the only PBS-adjacent channel available on Roku’s platform. It’s home to other ad-supported channels like PBS Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Road Trip, PBS Food, Julia Child and PBS Nature. There are also plenty of PBS-related channels available via subscription, including PBS Masterpiece, PBS Kids, PBS Living, PBS Documentaries and PBS America. Some of these are available on Hulu+ Live TV.

PBS may become an even bigger fixture in the free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) space in the future. The organization says it’s in the “early days of experimentation” with a goal of making PBS content “available in new places.” It will “continue to consider additional opportunities” if these FAST channels increase revenue and brand awareness. In the meantime, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood makes for some mighty fine ASMR.

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