Public TV, Verizon strike accord for multicast carriage

Public television has secured a deal with Verizon for carriage of main and digital multicast channels over the telecommunication company’s fiber-optic FiOS service.

The agreement provides for Verizon FiOS systems to carry the digital signals of up to three public television stations within their service area and other noncommercial stations in the market that don’t duplicate programming of a station already carried. The multiyear deal also includes public television’s high-definition channel offerings.

Announced June 16, the deal is the result of negotiations among the Association of Public Television Stations, PBS and Verizon. Public television digital multicast offerings to be available via FiOS include PBS Kids Go!, Viva TV, World and Create.

The agreement also “recognizes the unique role that public broadcasters play in national homeland defense efforts and provides for carriage of emergency public safety information,” said APTS president and CEO John Lawson.

Read “IPTV complements public TV’s service offering in spades, says APTS chief” for an interview with Lawson about the new agreement and its ramifications.

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