More than 100 PBS stations are now available in YouTube TV

More than 100 PBS member stations have gone live on YouTube TV starting Dec. 17, 2019.

  • This means that more than 75% of U.S. households would be eligible to receive the local PBS station via the streaming TV service.
  • The deal includes both PBS and PBS Kids feeds as well as on demand programming.
  • Additional member stations are expected to come on board in 2020.
  • Each PBS station is owned and operated by a local entity — and are not “affiliates” in the technical sense.
  • Member stations can each make their own programming and business decisions, including whether to stream content or not.
  • This means that YouTube likely had to negotiate deals with each station.
  • Because of this, it likely couldn’t do “sweeping” licensing deals with NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox’s owned station groups — where a single agreement could cover the network affiliates in major markets that would make programming available to large chunks of people at once.
  • The move represents PBS’s first move into live streaming.