I’ve talked a lot lately about our focus on localism and the important role of KCPT in our community; however, in this issue, I want to talk about national content and the importance of those coveted programs so many of you enjoy every week.
I think we can put Downton Abbey at the top of that list. PBS, and its affiliated stations, is proud to bring this exceedingly popular program into your homes. Season two premiered to an average audience of 6.3 million viewers (30% more than the first episode of season one). This is the highest rating for a MASTERPIECE Episode in 17 years. The Daily Beast wrote that Downton has brought PBS to “the cool kid’s table.” I thought we were already pretty cool but we’ll take that as a compliment.
Last year PBS moved NOVA to Wednesday night, creating “the smartest night on television.” This has led to a 47% increase in the national audience, meaning over 700,000 more people are watching during an average minute of NOVA’s programming. NOVA fits right in with KCPT’s mission to “educate and enrich” our community and also helps attract young minds to the sciences.
The Fall PBS Arts Festival reached close to 19 million viewers. In March we wrapped up the taping of Homecoming: The Kansas City Symphony – Joyce DiDonato at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which will be carried nationally on the PBS Summer Arts Series. What a great coup to have Kansas City included in this national series. The KCPT team was so proud to be part of such an extraordinary production. The program airs throughout the United States on July 20. Don’t miss seeing our city, the beautiful performing arts center, Joyce DiDonato, and the Kansas City Symphony!
PBS is also helping to close the achievement gap. According to a recent national survey commissioned by PBS and conducted by Vera Quest Research, 91% of teachers have access to computers in their classroom, but only one-in-five have the right level of technology. Cost is the single biggest barrier toward using technology in the classroom. That’s why PBS, together with local member stations (including KCPT), recently launched PBS LearningMedia, featuring a robust library with tens of thousands of digital assets, including lesson plans and discussion questions for educators that align with Common Core State Standards. This free media-on- demand service features content from NASA, National Archives and PBS programs all in one place.
A few statistical facts –
- More than 58 million videos were streamed on the PBS KIDS Video for iPhone/iPad apps in January 2012.
- In any given month in 2011, more than 30% of all video minutes consumed on kids’ sites were on PBSKIDS.org.
- In a typical month, close to 123 million people watch their local PBS stations.
On May 2nd, Paula Kerger, CEO of PBS, comes to Kansas City as the Chamber’s guest speaker to talk about the future of public media in a changing America. We are excited to share Paula with Kansas City as another local/national partnership opportunity. We’re also very excited to be working with the Chamber on their Big 5 initiative.
Thank you for watching!