PBS Stations Team Up With Google's YouTube

PBS member stations are going over the top with Google's YouTubeTV, the noncom network and online video giant are jointly announcing at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. 

The online live and subscription video service has agreed to carry any PBS member station that chooses to participate. It is the first such digital partnership for PBS and part of the expansion of its digital footprint. 

“We’re excited to launch our very first local livestream on YouTube TV,” said PBS chief digital and marketing officer Ira Rubenstein. “Our goal is to reach as many Americans as possible with content that educates, inspires and entertains. 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 and PBS Kids will have channels on YouTubeTV as well as being available on VOD and DVR services. 

PBS has more than 330 stations. 

Don't look for the noncommercial service to put all its eggs in the over-the-top basket anytime soon. 

In an interview with Multichannel News last month, Jonathan Barzilay, PBS chief operating officer, said the service remains dedicated to broadcast. "A significant percentage of the country — 60 million Americans — do not have broadband to the home. So it is important to remember that part of our mission is to serve all American homes."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.