Skip to main content

DBS to offer local PBS

DirecTV Inc. has agreed to carry 41 local PBS member stations in markets
where it is offering local TV service, while continuing to offer a national PBS
feed to the rest of the country, DirecTV, PBS and the Association of Public
Television Stations said Thursday.

Satellite-TV providers are required by law to carry local PBS affiliates in
markets they serve with local channels starting Jan. 1.

'There is obviously value for our customers in it,' DirecTV spokesman Bob
Marsocci said. 'We know it's something our customers want.'

DirecTV will start carrying the PBS stations Dec. 27, when it begins beaming
local TV signals to the 41 local markets it serves using its new spot-beam
satellite.

Customers can buy a package of their local signals, including their local PBS
stations, for $5.99 per month, which is no increase from the price DirecTV was
previously charging subscribers.

EchoStar Communications Corp. also plans to carry local PBS stations in the
36 markets it serves starting Jan. 1, as well as the national feed in markets
where it doesn't offer local TV signals.

EchoStar will begin charging $5.99 per month for a total local-TV-signal
package.

The company currently charges $4.99 per month for the four major broadcast
affiliates in each market, plus an additional $1 for PBS' national
feed.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.