PBS to Start Streaming Primetime Programming Next Month, Local Programming By End of Year

One of the channels that has been nowhere to be seen on Live TV Streaming Services is PBS. That’s about to change. Starting on April 1, PBS will begin streaming their national primetime programming at the same time it is broadcast on the air — but it won’t be on your streaming service like Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, or YouTube TV. Instead the streams will appear, on PBS apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, iOS, Android, and their website.

In a report by Current this week, they spoke with PBS’ Chief Digital Officer Ira Rubenstein to understand why they haven’t made it into the skinny bundle. “We’ve spoken with every provider that offers live linear streaming. Some are open to having local station feeds, and some absolutely won’t. Obviously we are talking only to those that support the local streams.”

Part of the issue is that in order to do the deals, the streaming services “don’t want to deal with only 10 markets; they want top 50 markets.” The good news is that negotiations are underway according to Rubenstein, and he hopes to announce deals by the end of the year. This would bring not only national programming, but also those from the different local member channels.

That hasn’t stopped PBS from going after cord cutters. Last week they announced a new streaming service called PBS Living which includes both classic and newer PBS series focused on food, cooking, culture, and home. The service, which costs $2.99 after a 7-Day Free Trial, includes shows like The French Chef, This Old House, Antiques Roadshow, as well as No Passport Required and Milk Street.

PBS Living joins the company’s two other streaming services on Amazon Channels, PBS Masterpiece and PBS Kids. For $5.99 / month, PBS Masterpiece includes miniseries like Great Expectations, The Windsors, a documentary on four generations of The Royal Family — and Jamestown, a series about a group of women in the 17th century Virginia settlement.

PBS Kids includes hit kids shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Wild Kratts, Pinkalicious & Peterrific, as well as classics like Reading Rainbow and Mister Rogers. The service is available for $4.99 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.