Channel One's creators say they are more than halfway toward their goal of signing 8,000 schools.

Meanwhile, producers at Cable News Network are putting out a rival, ad-free, 15-minute news program to an estimated 6,000 schools and say thousands more schools are expressing interest in getting "CNN Newsroom."Other cable TV networks, such as C-SPAN, The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel, are either producing shows or stepping up efforts to promote existing ad-free services for use in the classroom.

Farrell Reynolds, who oversees Whittle's educational operations, said about 4,200 schools have signed three-year contracts to take Channel One and about 3,500 schools with more than 3.1 million students are actually receiving it.