It’s a wonderful kind of day for fans of PBS, as they’ll be able to pay to stream a live, online feed of PBS for the first time later this year, via YouTube TV. The news was announced today at the Television Critics Association’s (TCA) summer Press Tour.
While you could already stream episodes of some PBS shows on the channel’s website or through a PBS Video app, some of them live, YouTube TV will have live access to the entire channel, including all 330 PBS member stations that choose to participate, including PBS Kids channels. The channels can also be accessed through YouTube TV’s VOD and unlimited DVR storage service, and will be available later this year. At $49.99 per month, the service offers live TV from over 70 networks.
PBS has been working to expand its viewership through digital partnerships, starting with its Amazon Prime Channel PBS Living, which launched earlier this March. The $2.99 / month channel offers individual episodes of shows like Antiques Roadshow and This Old House. With this new YouTube TV partnership, PBS can reach viewers who have left traditional cable for the over-the-top TV service.
“Our goal is to reach as many Americans as possible with content that educates, inspires and entertains,” PBS chief digital and marketing officer Ira Rubenstein said. “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.”