Exclusive: The Sinclair Broadcast Group is adding Steve Rotfeld Productions’ STEM-centered Xploration Station block beginning in fall 2016. The three-hour Saturday-morning block will run on 38 Sinclair stations, including all 36 of its Fox affiliates, for five years, according to terms of the new deal. Xploration Station premiered this year with two hours on the Fox Station Group, Tribune’s Fox affiliates, and other stations, in 80 percent of the U.S. The Sinclair deal brings carriage to more than 90 percent of the country.
Targeting kids 13-16, the block currently includes Xploration Awesome Planet, Xploration Outer Space, Xploration and Xploration Animal Science. With the Sinclair deal upping the ante to three hours, SRP will be developing two additional half-hour shows. Steve Rotfeld says he’s looking into a sports program with a science theme, and possibly an engineering show. “The STEM theme is what sold this,” he tells CynKids, “so whatever areas we get into we will stay true to that.” A plan to distribute Xploration Station programming to schools is also in the works.