YouTube TV Becomes First Streamer to Carry PBS

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
Finally! Here is an except from the article published in "The Wrap." PBS Kids included as well. No word on the "when."

PBS Signs Carriage Deal With YouTube TV

TCA 2019: This marks the first carriage deal of its kind between PBS and a streaming TV service

PBS has secured carriage for its member stations on YouTube TV, the public broadcasting network announced on Monday morning at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour.

Under the agreement, YouTube TV will livestream all of the 330 PBS member stations that choose to participate. This marks the first digital partnership of its kind for PBS, making YouTube TV the only streaming service to carry the network’s channels. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to the live channels, YouTube TV subscribers can access the content through YouTube TV’s video-on-demand service.

“We’re thrilled to partner with PBS to introduce both the PBS and PBS Kids channels to YouTube TV,” Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube, said. “Audiences of all ages love and trust PBS, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to delivering the best possible lineup for our subscribers.”
 

comfortably_numb

Dogs have owners, cats have staff
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 30, 2011
9,851
10,422
Missouri/Kansas
Finally! Here is an except from the article published in "The Wrap." PBS Kids included as well. No word on the "when."

PBS Signs Carriage Deal With YouTube TV

TCA 2019: This marks the first carriage deal of its kind between PBS and a streaming TV service

PBS has secured carriage for its member stations on YouTube TV, the public broadcasting network announced on Monday morning at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour.

Under the agreement, YouTube TV will livestream all of the 330 PBS member stations that choose to participate. This marks the first digital partnership of its kind for PBS, making YouTube TV the only streaming service to carry the network’s channels. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to the live channels, YouTube TV subscribers can access the content through YouTube TV’s video-on-demand service.

“We’re thrilled to partner with PBS to introduce both the PBS and PBS Kids channels to YouTube TV,” Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube, said. “Audiences of all ages love and trust PBS, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to delivering the best possible lineup for our subscribers.”
Excellent!
 

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
This is a good reflection of YouTube TV's clout and ambitions in the streaming TV space, that they were the first to work this out. I heard the biggest holdup in getting PBS on the streaming services was securing agreements with the hundreds of independent local affiliates. With the other network affiliates, most are owned by the networks or media conglomerates, streamlining the negotiation process. Though I'm sure YouTube TV must've still worked out some standard form agreement that the local PBS affiliates signed on to, facilitated by PBS. It will be interesting to hear if we get more details about how they pulled it off and if it will be easily replicable by the other streamers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: comfortably_numb

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
More info in this other article in Current.org. PBS stations are scheduled to launch on YTTV prior to the November pledge drive. A deal with a second streamer is expected, but likely not until 2020. DirecTV Now and PS Vue have not expressed any interest in carrying PBS, so Sling and Hulu would be the likely contenders.

Also, "The linear digital feeds developed for YouTube TV will lay groundwork for an updated PBS app to be released in 2020. Highly anticipated by local pubcasters, the app will feature livestreams of PBS member stations."

And: "The YouTube TV deal required a commitment from a critical mass of stations. The Public Television Major Market Group, representing PBS members in the largest television markets in the U.S., agreed to participate." Three options were given, with most stations opting to have YouTube TV "grab over-the-air signals of local stations that clear the rights to at least 90% of their schedules."
 
  • Like
Reactions: comfortably_numb

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
16,430
2,613
Salem, OR
I'm impressed that they're not messing around with a "national feed". My area PBS (Oregon Public Broadcasting) is a relatively good one and it would be a shame for those without reliable OTA access to not be able to see it.
 

NashGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
686
282
Nashville, TN USA
I had predicted that AT&T TV would be the first streaming cable TV service to carry PBS. And we'll see, it may still be given that's it's supposed to soft-launch in several pilot markets in August before launching everywhere in the fall. I bet that PBS has already inked a deal with AT&T but they couldn't announce it today given that AT&T TV has yet to launch and details are still being kept under wraps.

I had predicted that YouTube TV would land PBS (and C-SPAN) but not until early next year. Once again, things seem to be moving a bit faster than I had predicted. I also think in the coming months (I had also predicted it for 1Q 2020) that we'll see YouTube TV add a few of those critical cable networks they're still missing: A&E, History, Lifetime, Hallmark, and Magnolia (which will take over the channel now called DIY, which YouTube TV doesn't carry). Beyond that, I expect YouTube TV will offer an optional add-on tier of additional sports channels that they don't have in their main package, stuff like NFL Network, NHL TV, etc. I also expect YouTube TV to begin offering select live and on-demand content in 4K and 4K HDR, just as Fubo TV does. In other words, YouTube TV is evolving into a full-blown direct replacement for traditional cable/satellite TV.

Not coincidentally, Verizon has begun offering to bundle YouTube TV in with their own broadband and wireless services. And they just submitted their own device, called Stream TV, which I'm betting is an Android TV streamer with a UI and remote custom-designed for use with YouTube TV. By 2021, Verizon FiOS TV will be killed off.

In fact, most or all traditional cable TV services will die in the next few years. Broadband operators other than AT&T and Comcast will just partner up with one or more third-party streaming service and offer them (often with a custom-designed streaming box/stick and remote) as an optional bundle with their broadband service. Here's what "cable TV" will be in 2022:

  • AT&T TV
  • X1 TV (Comcast will take their Xfinity cable TV service OTT nationwide by end of next year.)
  • YouTube TV
  • Hulu with Live TV
  • Amazon Prime Video Live Channels (which Amazon will either create from scratch or, more likely IMO, create out of PS Vue which they'll buy from Sony)
  • CBS All Access with Live TV (after CBS has folded in content/channels from Viacom and probably others -- Lionsgate/Starz? AMC Networks? A+E Networks?)

Sling will still be around but it'll languish unless DISH gets serious about it and decides to do more than just compete at the low-end with $25 super-skinny bundles without locals. That's Sling's niche right now and the only reason for it to exist. And frankly, DISH has much bigger things to worry about right now, like building a new 5G network from scratch.

But all those other traditional cable TV services? Charter Spectrum TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Cox Contour TV, Altice TV, Frontier Vantage TV, etc. -- they'll all either get shut down completely or deprecated to being a small-to-medium sized set of traditional QAM cable channels (probably just in SD) that takes up relatively little bandwidth on their operators' systems.
 

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
I had predicted that AT&T TV would be the first streaming cable TV service to carry PBS. And we'll see, it may still be given that's it's supposed to soft-launch in several pilot markets in August before launching everywhere in the fall. I bet that PBS has already inked a deal with AT&T but they couldn't announce it today given that AT&T TV has yet to launch and details are still being kept under wraps.
It seems pretty clear from one of the articles I linked above that YouTube TV will be the first streaming service to carry PBS, that YTTV is piloting this technology and agreement framework with local affiliates. I doubt they'd announce it this way if they knew AT&T would swoop in within the next month or two to truly be the first streaming service to carry PBS. This was more involved than agreeing to a price point with the national PBS. Buy-in and a tiered agreement structure had to be worked out among more than 300 affiliates (not to mention technology upgrades). Here are some key excerpts from the article on Current.

This is PBS’ first distribution pact with a virtual multichannel video programming distributor, or vMVPD — the over-the-top streaming services that are challenging traditional cable and satellite operators with skinny bundles of live linear programming for viewing over the internet....

PBS told programmers at the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Dallas this month that the first streaming deal would come this summer and that it expects a second agreement in 2020. During the PBS portion of TCA’s Winter Press Tour in February, PBS President Paula Kerger said the
network had talked with YouTube TV and Sling TV. [not AT&T]

Rubenstein said there may be two more vMVPD agreements but would not say with whom. But he noted that AT&Ts DirecTV Now and Sony’s PlayStation Vue are two OTT services that have steadfastly not expressed interest in pursuing a PBS deal.

Rubenstein hopes a smooth first rollout with YouTube TV will encourage others to come to the table. “A lot depends on how this goes,” he said.

The linear digital feeds developed for YouTube TV will lay groundwork for an updated PBS app to be released in 2020. Highly anticipated by local pubcasters, the app will feature livestreams of PBS member stations.

Rubenstein said the YouTube TV deal required a commitment from a critical mass of stations. ...

The master agreement between PBS and YouTube, announced Monday, provides livestreaming for up to three PBS stations in a market, Rubenstein said. Between now and launch, stations will be signing individual agreements with YouTube TV and with PBS.
My guess is that Sling will be the next streaming service to carry PBS stations, but that won't be until sometime in 2020 once all the kinks are worked out with YouTube TV.
 

NashGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
686
282
Nashville, TN USA
It seems pretty clear from one of the articles I linked above that YouTube TV will be the first streaming service to carry PBS, that YTTV is piloting this technology and agreement framework with local affiliates. I doubt they'd announce it this way if they knew AT&T would swoop in within the next month or two to truly be the first streaming service to carry PBS.
We'll see. The official webpage for AT&T's new flagship TV service, AT&T TV, went live today. Should be soft-launching in about 14 pilot markets very soon. We'll see what their line-ups are then. If they don't include PBS at launch, I expect that AT&T TV will include PBS when it launches nationally in the fall (probably Nov.). So it's absolutely possible that PBS shows up first on YouTube TV in, say, Sept.

AT&T TV: Live TV, DVR, On Demand, Apps & Voice Control
 

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
I also think in the coming months (I had also predicted it for 1Q 2020) that we'll see YouTube TV add a few of those critical cable networks they're still missing: A&E, History, Lifetime, Hallmark, and Magnolia (which will take over the channel now called DIY, which YouTube TV doesn't carry). Beyond that, I expect YouTube TV will offer an optional add-on tier of additional sports channels that they don't have in their main package, stuff like NFL Network, NHL TV, etc. I also expect YouTube TV to begin offering select live and on-demand content in 4K and 4K HDR, just as Fubo TV does. In other words, YouTube TV is evolving into a full-blown direct replacement for traditional cable/satellite TV.
I'm curious what you are basing this prediction on. I follow YouTube TV news closely and am active in online discussion groups for YTTV, and I see no sign YouTube TV has any plans of making such moves, certainly not until April 2020 (one year since their last big move). There were a lot of unhappy costumers when they added the Discovery channels and raised the price $10-$15 for everyone (YTTV's Twitter announcement got flooded with people announcing their displeasure and cancellations of the service). With this PBS announcement, there are already a lot of people concerned this will mean another price increase. People signed up for YTTV because it represented a good skinny-bundle mix with most of the major sports channels, not because they were looking for an one-size-fits-all package costing closer to $100/mo. than $50/mo. The only possible move I see them making in the next few months, but this is probably wishful thinking though it didn't happen last year, is that they add NFL Network with a Redzone add-on subscription option.


EDIT: Coincidentally, someone posted a poll in the YTTV Facebook group yesterday asking: "Prediction on when Youtube TV will offer 300+ channels and cost $100 per month?" So far the results are 136 saying "never/not going to happen" and 40 people saying in one (31) to two (9) years.
 

VictoriaFTA

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 20, 2018
153
184
Chicago
Pass.

I'm quite happy with my crystal clear logo-free national feed on 125W receivable with a 90cm dish.

PBS affiliates suck so much.
 

NashGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
686
282
Nashville, TN USA
I'm curious what you are basing this prediction on. I follow YouTube TV news closely and am active in online discussion groups for YTTV, and I see no sign YouTube TV has any plans of making such moves, certainly not until April 2020 (one year since their last big move). There were a lot of unhappy costumers when they added the Discovery channels and raised the price $10-$15 for everyone (YTTV's Twitter announcement got flooded with people announcing their displeasure and cancellations of the service). With this PBS announcement, there are already a lot of people concerned this will mean another price increase. People signed up for YTTV because it represented a good skinny-bundle mix with most of the major sports channels, not because they were looking for an one-size-fits-all package costing closer to $100/mo. than $50/mo. The only possible move I see them making in the next few months, but this is probably wishful thinking though it didn't happen last year, is that they add NFL Network with a Redzone add-on subscription option.


EDIT: Coincidentally, someone posted a poll in the YTTV Facebook group yesterday asking: "Prediction on when Youtube TV will offer 300+ channels and cost $100 per month?" So far the results are 136 saying "never/not going to happen" and 40 people saying in one (31) to two (9) years.
I'm basing it on the fact that the whole concept of "full-featured traditional cable TV service" vs. "skinny streaming cable TV service" is going to collapse as the two meet in the middle. Keep an eye on what develops with the new AT&T TV. It'll soft launch in a few markets here very soon. The website for it just went live today.

AT&T TV: Live TV, DVR, On Demand, Apps & Voice Control

It'll offer multiple tiers and will be positioned as AT&T's flagship TV service, available anywhere over any internet connection. And it's very much going to blur the lines between traditional services (like their old flagships, DirecTV satellite and Uverse TV) and skinny streaming services (like DirecTV Now).

Meanwhile, YTTV is being positioned by Verizon to replace their own FiOS TV service in the next couple of years. It's going to have to offer just a few more channels and features (including 4K HDR) to really "get there" as a full-blown replacement for "grown up" cable TV. But it's close. They could strike small deals with two companies -- A+E Networks for A&E, History and Lifetime, and Crown Networks for Hallmark Channel (and maybe Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) -- and they'd add the last of the top 25 non-Viacom* cable networks that they're currently missing. (Those are all networks, BTW, that AT&T TV will have, I predict.) I still think that YTTV will stay away from Viacom in order to keep bloat and pricing down but I suspect Viacom content/channels will be available through CBS All Access next year after CBS acquires Viacom here soon. At any rate, even though YTTV is adding PBS (and maybe C-SPAN?) this year, I think they'll wait on those other channels, plus Discovery's upcoming Magnolia network from Chip & Joanna Gaines (currently named DIY Network) until the first half of next year, at which time the price will go up to $55/mo. And I think that's around when we'll see an optional $10 "Sports Overtime Pack" with all those extra sports channels they're currently missing. Sports is really important and some folks won't give you a second look if you don't have ALL the sports channels.

Over the next few years, all those traditional cable TV operators will fade away. They'll focus on their more profitable broadband service and offer to bundle in one or more streaming service with which they've partnered (and for which they'll get a little commission). The future cable TV services will be:

  • AT&T TV (w/ HBO Max)
  • Comcast X1 TV (w/ NBCU SVOD)
  • Hulu with Live TV
  • YouTube TV
  • Amazon Prime Video Live Channels (possibly after they buy PS Vue and incorporate it)
  • CBS All Access with Live TV (maybe?)

PS Vue won't survive unless they're bought by a content owner. Fubo TV won't survive. And all the traditional services like Charter Spectrum TV, Cox Contour TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Frontier Vantage TV, etc. either shrink down to basic services with a reduced set of (SD only?) channels without DVR, or they shut down entirely. This is how I predict it's going to play out over the next 3 years.

*Viacom's Nickelodeon and TV Land ranked in the 25 most-watched primetime cable nets of 2018.
 

Radioguy41

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
1,804
1,300
Lehighton, PA
And I think that's around when we'll see an optional $10 "Sports Overtime Pack" with all those extra sports channels they're currently missing. Sports is really important and some folks won't give you a second look if you don't have ALL the sports channels.
Not as important as you may think. Sports channels drive up the cost exponentially and are a very large reason why people are cord-cutting to begin with. What I see with YTTV is they are going down that same path of pushing sports into the base offering and then padding the channel count with crap just so they can advertise "70 channels!". You're right, they're becoming the new "cable" TV and I don't see that as a good thing. You talk about "skinny" but there's nothing skinny about YTTV when it's padded with a fist full of junk like Cheddar, for instance, and forced (expensive) sports channels. I'm still waiting for the first streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about. Haven't seen it yet, just cable wannabe's.
 

msmith198025

Member of the Year
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Aug 28, 2007
29,583
9,611
mississippi
Not as important as you may think. Sports channels drive up the cost exponentially and are a very large reason why people are cord-cutting to begin with. What I see with YTTV is they are going down that same path of pushing sports into the base offering and then padding the channel count with crap just so they can advertise "70 channels!". You're right, they're becoming the new "cable" TV and I don't see that as a good thing. You talk about "skinny" but there's nothing skinny about YTTV when it's padded with a fist full of junk like Cheddar, for instance, and forced (expensive) sports channels. I'm still waiting for the first streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about. Haven't seen it yet, just cable wannabe's.
It sounds like Philo may be worth a look for what you want ?
 

Zookster

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 19, 2004
3,953
762
Here and Now
Not as important as you may think. Sports channels drive up the cost exponentially and are a very large reason why people are cord-cutting to begin with. What I see with YTTV is they are going down that same path of pushing sports into the base offering and then padding the channel count with crap just so they can advertise "70 channels!". You're right, they're becoming the new "cable" TV and I don't see that as a good thing. You talk about "skinny" but there's nothing skinny about YTTV when it's padded with a fist full of junk like Cheddar, for instance, and forced (expensive) sports channels. I'm still waiting for the first streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about. Haven't seen it yet, just cable wannabe's.
All of the major OTT live TV services are missing 8-12 of the top 50 cable channels. I wasn't too happy myself with YTTV's additions of junk channels like Cheddar, Newsy, and Tastemade. I think at the time those were added, YTTV was trying to compensate for the lack of Discovery channels without raising the price. So I agree, it was padding. At the end of the day, though, it's really no big deal YTTV has a half dozen junk channels. I just don't include them in my fully customizable guide.

Though you may have no interest in sports channels, the biggest thing people watch live anymore (with commercials) is sports. If it wasn't for sports, I wouldn't even have a live TV streaming service. I would just get by with OTA, Netflix, basic Hulu, and Prime, with the occasional full season purchase of favorite shows not available through basic Hulu or OTA.

So in your view, what would a "streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about" look like?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: NashGuy

NashGuy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 24, 2009
686
282
Nashville, TN USA
Not as important as you may think. Sports channels drive up the cost exponentially and are a very large reason why people are cord-cutting to begin with. What I see with YTTV is they are going down that same path of pushing sports into the base offering and then padding the channel count with crap just so they can advertise "70 channels!". You're right, they're becoming the new "cable" TV and I don't see that as a good thing. You talk about "skinny" but there's nothing skinny about YTTV when it's padded with a fist full of junk like Cheddar, for instance, and forced (expensive) sports channels. I'm still waiting for the first streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about. Haven't seen it yet, just cable wannabe's.
You must have missed the word "optional" when I described a hypothetical "Sports Overtime Pack" for YTTV. As long as the full cost of the channels it contains are borne by the price charged for that package (as I believe would be the case), then there's ZERO reason for YTTV not to offer it.

Check out Sling's Sports Extra Package that they sell for $10. Same kind of thing. Yet you don't hear cheap cord-cutters complaining that Sling is too expensive or bloated. Why? Because all those Extra Packages are optional.
 

Ypsiguy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 5, 2019
231
193
Ypsilanti, MI
Not as important as you may think. Sports channels drive up the cost exponentially and are a very large reason why people are cord-cutting to begin with. What I see with YTTV is they are going down that same path of pushing sports into the base offering and then padding the channel count with crap just so they can advertise "70 channels!". You're right, they're becoming the new "cable" TV and I don't see that as a good thing. You talk about "skinny" but there's nothing skinny about YTTV when it's padded with a fist full of junk like Cheddar, for instance, and forced (expensive) sports channels. I'm still waiting for the first streaming service to actually get what cord cutting is all about. Haven't seen it yet, just cable wannabe's.
Another one seldom mentioned is AT&T's Watch TV. Just a bundle of the major cable nets, about 35 of them for $15/mo. They threw them in with my phone's premium package.
 

tcat007

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 5, 2016
90
43
Austin
If Spectrum Choice would get more like other streamers (easy to sign up, easy to cancel, not add fees), I think they'd be a very good choice. $25 for all locals and subs, plus 10 of anything else you want. And you can also add HBO Go for $7.50. Good addition to Philo (or just free Pluto).
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top