December 17, 2019

Back in July, Google announced that PBS would be coming to YouTube TV later this year. A report the month after slated a November launch, but that date came and went. The Public Broadcasting Service, along with the Oprah Winfrey Network, is now available on the cord-cutting service.

Both PBS and PBS Kids are now watchable on YouTube TV. This is the first “virtual multichannel video programming distributor” deal for public broadcasting and came with several challenges that likely resulted in the delay.

Streaming is cost-prohibitive for local affiliate stations that have unique content limited to an area. The alternative would be leveraging the national PBS feed, but many stations want their shows — similar to local news affiliates — to also appear on YouTube TV.

To make this type of programming available in YouTube TV, local stations — not located in big markets — are responsible for streaming that live feed. Some of those stations are eligible for a reduced $250 monthly rate, while others have to pay the full $1,500 cost.

With today’s launch, “more than 100 PBS stations” are available with others coming throughout 2020. PBS offers programs such as NOVA, Frontline, This Old House, and Antiques Roadshow, while PBS Kids, of course, includes Sesame Street and Arthur.

Meanwhile, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is accessible nationwide starting today.

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