PBS Stations Head to YouTube TV

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.—PBS is joining the streaming age, as the network announced at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour that it has secured carriage for its member stations on YouTube TV’s live TV and on-demand subscription service. PBS described the deal as the first digital partnership of its kind for the network and one that expands its digital footprint to “engage viewers where, when and how they consume content.”

“Our goal is to reach as many Americans as possible with content that educates, inspires and entertains,” said Ira Rubenstein, PBS’ chief digital and marketing officer. “As a broadcaster that is rooted in communities, we appreciate YouTube’s commitment to local content, and we are pleased that this service provides audiences with access to programming that is produced and distributed by our member stations.”

PBS has more than 330 member stations across the country, and as part of the deal any member station that wishes to participate will be live streamed on YouTube TV. In addition to having access to live PBS and PBS KIDS content, YouTube TV subscribers can access PBS content through the platforms on-demand and DVR services.

YouTube TV is expected to begin carrying the PBS livestreams starting later in 2019.

Some other PBS news came out of the TCA event, as it was announced that PBS President Paula Kerger, whose 13 years as president makes her the longest tenured president in the network’s history, has re-upped for another five years.