Cord cutting is a great way to break free from high cable TV bills, but if you have kids it can be difficult because they don’t want to lose their favorite TV shows. Now there are services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon that will bring you a ton of content for kids; however, over-the-air TV is a great, free option many forget about.
So here is a quick rundown of some channels for kids that many Americans receive free over the air.
First don’t forget about the big networks: Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, and CW. These channels offer content for kids of all ages, but they are just the tip of the iceberg of channels you can get with an antenna. (Side note: Many cable companies charge $5 a month to access these channels that are free over the air to most Americans.)
So what about lesser known channels? Here is our quick rundown of quality over-the-air TV for kids.
The PBJ network is a kid’s network that shows both new and older shows. Classics like the Ghostbusters cartoon show and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are aired on PBJ. They also have educational and fitness shows like Kids Fitness and 9th Period.
The Family Channel
The Family Channel is dedicated to family members of all ages with shows for parents like classic Battlestar Galactica, Beverly Hillbillies, and other fun reruns to kid’s shows like Friday Night Funnies and Real Life 101. The channel even airs family movies every Friday night.
AMGTV is a family-oriented television network that airs a ton of content from shows for parents like Dog: The Bounty Hunter and Forensic Files to kid’s shows like Animal Rescue and Dog Tales. They have shows covering a range of topics including drama, sports, how-to, hunting/fishing, and science fiction.
FamilyNet is another family network available to many Americans. FamilyNet brings classic shows like Bewitched and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose to shows like S.W.A.T. A little bit of everything is available on FamilyNet.
PBS is home to many award-winning shows like Downton Abbey, PBS Newshour, Wolf Hall, and more. It also airs a wide array of family and kid-friendly content as well. One of the most enduring and iconic shows on the network is Sesame Street, which celebrated its 46th anniversary last fall. Until PBS Kids, the dedicated children’s programming network coming soon from PBS, launches – your original PBS station is still a great resource for quality kid-friendly content. Find your local PBS station.
PBS Kids (Coming Soon)
PBS wants to expand beyond its current offering and become your go-to source for 24/7 live children’s content with a new over-the-air network aimed at kids.
As noted above, PBS already airs kid’s programming during the morning and after-school hours but wants to expand that with this new network, PBS Kids, to “during primetime and other after-school hours when viewing among families is high,” Paula Kerger said. If you have PBS on your antenna, have your TV re-search for stations and it should pop up later this year.
In addition to launching this new station, PBS Kids will also be available on many digital platforms as well, making this educational yet entertaining content accessible to virtually anyone.
What about recording live content to watch on-demand?
You may be asking yourself this is all great but my kids are busy and may not be available to watch these shows when they air. If that is your issue with canceling cable, maybe a DVR is for you. Just like your cable DVR, cord cutters have access to DVRs like Tablo, Channel Master, and Tivo to give you access to your content when you want it.
Yes there is a bit of a startup cost with cord cutting. You need to buy an antenna and optionally a DVR, but when many cable companies charge between $10 and $15 a month simply to rent a DVR or set-top box, you will quickly start saving money.
Ready to make the jump and ditch cable? Check out Mohu’s antenna recommendations to help you find the best antenna for where you live.