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Dublin: 26.02.2015 10.58PM
RTÉ has decided to amp up its children’s television offering by giving RTÉjr its own channel across TV, digital radio, online and mobile services. The launch on 15 April will kick off a week-long takeover of RTÉ by tots, tweens and teens.
Formerly a segment of programming on RTÉ Two, the new RTÉjr will be an entirely non-commercial cross-platform channel delivered by RTÉ’s existing resources.
Targeting the 0-7 age group, RTÉjr will feature original content intended to both entertain and educate young minds. On TV, the channel will be found on Sky, UPC and Saorview and will feature RTÉjr favourites as well as 14 newly commissioned programme strands, including the bilingual Spraoi, new dance show Move it! and RTÉjr Workshop. On digital radio, RTÉjr will broadcast from 7am to 7pm daily via the RTÉ Radio Player and on Saorview and UPC, before TRTÉ takes over for the 7-11 age group at night.
Children will be able to watch, listen and play via the RTÉjr website and a mobile app designed by RTÉ Digital, RTÉ TV Young People’s Programme and Marino Software.
The latter has previously produced apps for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Curious George brand and Sesame Street and the RTÉjr app promises to be interactive, educational and intuitive, offering children’s programming on-demand on a range of devices.
On top of this, over 40 hours of children’s television content will be available on the RTÉ Player every day.
RTÉjr launches on 15 April, marking the start of RTÉ’s Tots, Tweens and Teens Week, which aims to highlight RTÉ’s services for under-18s.
Children and young people will feature on primetime TV and radio schedules throughout the week, delivering continuity announcements, weather bulletins and news reports, and RTÉ 2fm presenter Rick O’Shea will take on a young co-host.
The launch of RTÉjr and the drive to promote young people’s programming is part of a phased three-year strategy in the development of services for young people by the national broadcaster.
Amended, 15.04.2013: An earlier version of this article stated that Marino Software created an app for Disney, but this app was in fact created for the Curious George brand owned by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.