Oct 4, 2011

Nov. 1 is premiere date for PBS U.K. channel

The PBS U.K. channel will be available to viewers across the pond starting Nov. 1, Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting. The pubTV network's first international channel, bankrolled by a Canadian entrepreneur (Current, Aug. 8, 2011), will open with an episode of Nova. The biz magazine says the PBS U.K. office in East London has four full-time employees and a dozen freelancers, and "that number may grow as the channel’s distribution and viewers expand."

While PBS has sold programs to U.K. programmers through its distribution arm, which is also helping manage the new venture, some channels have become more reluctant to use its content and what does appear isn’t clearly branded as a PBS show, said Richard Kingsbury, general manager of PBS U.K. "A lot of networks don’t like to take programs from others. The BBC used to pick up quite a lot, but I guess they’re under pressure not to acquire.”

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