For all of you cord-cutters out there, I have some news that I think will please you. On March 14, PBS launched a subscription streaming channel on Prime Video Channels called PBS Living. Iconic series such as This Old House, Antiques Roadshow, and the French Chef along with newer titles like Milk Street and No Passport Required will be available for $2.99 a month in addition to the subscriber’s Amazon Prime membership. Revenues from this service will go to program producers.
PBS is also negotiating rights for PBS Living programs for PBS Passport — the streaming service available to WGCU members for a minimum annual donation of $60. Also, starting on Monday, April 1, most national PBS programs will begin streaming on the PBS Video App, on WGCU.org and on the PBS.org website at the same time as the programs’ east coast premieres. This may not be possible for some live and quick-turnaround programs such as PBS NewsHour and Washington Week and for a few programs whose rights do not allow for live streaming.
We expect that a full-blown, locally branded WGCU/PBS OTT (over the top) streaming service will be available before the end of the year on popular streaming platforms such as Hulu, Sling and YouTube TV. Public television stations are a bit behind the curve on offering OTT services because of the wide variety of program sources and customized local schedules that PBS stations provide their viewers. Those hurdles are in the process of being cleared, however.