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KCET Announces Multi-Year Production/Distribution Deal With Eyetronics

KCET has reached a five-year partnership with Eyetronics Media and Studios to produce and acquire original series geared towards the Southern California area.

KCET is an independent public station in the Central and Southern California. The station dropped its affiliation with PBS over the issue of dues to the national noncom programming supplier.

The new multiyear partnership will be funded by Eyetronics, which intends to provide up $50 million to cover original productions, acquisitions and distribution for KCET to produce and broadcast. Eyetronics will package and distribute the content domestically and internationally across all media platforms, while KCET has public television distribution rights domestically and in Canada.

"Southern California is a special market, and it is our home. Over the years, we have spoken to generations of Angelenos with our programming," said Al Jerome, president and CEO, KCET. "We are eager to collaborate with Dominique [Bigle, Eyetronics CEO] and leverage his savvy for international distribution to deliver more exceptional shows and original documentaries with local/global appeal."

The new programming will highlight the cultural significance Southern California, including Hollywood, multicultural restaurants, academics and technology. KCET plans to be in production with the first five series by the end of this year, with more productions in development.

"I am impressed with KCET's vision for being an independent public broadcaster, as well as its widely recognized tradition as a producer of distinguished television and online content," said Bigle. "I am looking forward to tapping into our combined strengths to share the dynamism of the region to worldwide audiences."

John Eggerton contributed to this story.