DirecTV to Carry PBS in HD

December 19, 2007
DirecTV viewers have been asking for it.

And soon, most of them will be able to see their local PBS stations in high-definition, according to an announcement by DirecTV, the Association of Public Television Stations, and PBS.

DirecTV will include the local HD feeds of public television stations in its HD rollout plans beginning in 2008.

Under the agreement, DirecTV will work with the broadcasters to bring local and national public TV programming to video-on-demand. In addition, DirecTV will carry two national SD channels of public television programming.

“This agreement is the result of a cooperative effort that will utilize innovative technology to deliver the highest quality local content to DirecTV viewers,” said Chase Carey, president and CEO of DirecTV.

“This is a forward-looking, innovative agreement for the digital age,” said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. “It means the great HD programming from PBS and local Public Television stations will be available to DIRECTV customers in every market where DIRECTV carries any local HD. We will also work together to make available a vast library of on demand content from local Public Television stations across the country. This is a great day for public service media in America.”

The terms of the deal were unanimously approved by the APTS Board of Trustees Tuesday and are pending approval by the PBS Board of Directors. The agreement must be ratified by local Public Television stations.

DirecTV offers local HD programming in 68 markets, representing more than 72 percent of U.S. TV households. The company has said that by mid-2008, it will increase those figures to 76 markets, covering 75 percent of TV households.

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