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Over 100 PBS local stations start streaming on YouTube TV (techcrunch.com)
660 points by samaysharma 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 162 comments



Two Apple TV apps I have recently discovered and love using:

Pluto.tv: replicate the cable guide experience. Endless episodes of things like This Old House, MST3k, and vintage game shows. I much prefer Pluto content to modern HGTV-type cable shows, and it scratches the same itch of "just watch whatever's on".

- https://pluto.tv/

Kanopy: use your library card or university ID to stream indie movies and documentaries. Free kids programming. Lots of PBS.

- https://www.kanopy.com/ - https://www.kanopy.com/kids


I have to chime in with another recommendation for Pluto. The app is noticeably snappier than anything else on my 3 different models of Roku. (Weird since it’s free and Hulu, HBO, Sling et al should have plenty of money for development.). Sling especially has dark patterns selling DVR space and loses audio sync constantly. Pluto is rock solid by comparison.


Roku tends to have poor quality (outsourced) apps when companies have invested in a multiplatform system - brightscript doesn’t interoperate well with anything else so its usually an outsourced project.


Funny. The Roku MLB.tv app blows every other platform out of the water.


MLB has a world-class engineering team [1] so that's not a surprise. You might even say they're in a different league than other content providers.

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2015/8/4/9090897/mlb-bam-live-strea...


Ha. Their Roku app is the best non-live viewing experience I've ever experienced for any sporting event: during live games you can jump to specific innings/plays, change audio feeds between TV announcers, radio announcers, and stadium-only... really impressive.


MLBAM must have done that in house. I'm not saying its impossible to do a good Roku app, it definitely is, and frequently its going to be faster because the language is fairly single purpose. But a roku team tends to need its own explicit resources. I've heard of a lot of gnashing of teeth from colleagues walking up to it, though I haven't played with it yet myself.


You think the Roku version of MLB is significantly better than, say, the Apple TV version of MLB? Why?


Never used the Apple TV version. But I have used the web and Android versions, and the Roku player blows them out of the water.


Better features.


My only complaint is that it completely freezes my firestick at least once a day. We plan on upgrading to something else so this shouldn't be a concern soon.


Samsung has TV Plus which is included with all Samsung smart TVs and includes some Pluto channels as well as other channels, which just scheduled internet video content. Something I just discovered recently. I like it because I want some background noise, and don't want to spend 10 minutes deciding on what content to watch.


Pluto is ok, except the quality stinks, and at least on my ISP, stutters on every streaming device in my house.


Pluto tv reminds me of those telemarketers that won't stop calling. Once I signed up I got endless spam and phishing attempts in my inbox making it almost unusable.


Hmm, I never actually signed up. It works without sign-in.

The commercials aren't great. I wish I could pay to have it cut to the (cool!) Pluto.tv splash screens rather than see ads.


I still just want one simple place to stream all (most, or half, even, would be great, for that matter) of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and pre-Elmoization Sesame Street for my kids. Anything else would be a welcome bonus but I mostly just want those.


I just want the original Reading Rainbow. I can't find it anywhere, if anyone knows how to attain a digital copy, I'd love to hear it.


Well, there's basically an adult (or, not aimed at children, at least) Reading Rainbow he does now as a podcast called Levar Burton Reads[1], so there's that.

1: http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com/



Sadly those are from the 90s Reading Rainbow, not the original 80s series.


There are a bunch of seasons available free for Prime members on Amazon Prime Video. I've been watching it with my kids the last few weeks, and it's held up well!


I know but those are also the second series (90s based). The original 80s series seems to be lost to time which is incredibly sad considering its impact and popularity.


What is "pre-elmoization" Sesame Street and why do you think it's better?


For a reference essay on the shift from Big Bird to Elmo:

https://kotaku.com/how-elmo-ruined-sesame-street-1746504585

Major thesis: "It started in small ways. A lot of stories used to be based around Big Bird, who was psychologically characterized as a six-year-old. And in a lot of ways, this was ideal—six years old was on the older end of Sesame Street’s age demographic, and Big Bird served as both a role model and a peer to his audience. Big Bird’s comparative maturity also meant that he could project a wide range of emotions—he was ‘old enough’ to understand mature concepts, such as the permanence of Mr. Hooper’s death."

"Elmo stories, on the other hand, tend to affirm and celebrate the child’s perspective. Rarely, if ever, is Elmo’s innocence challenged, or is he forced to think about someone’s happiness other than his own. He spends most of his time hanging out with Zoe, Abby, Telly, and Baby Bear—Muppets who share his emotional maturity, and unlike Grover, Kermit, and Ernie, do nothing to push him. In fact, he is the de facto leader of his group—the dialogue lowers to Elmo’s level, rather than rising to an older character’s. And while this is cute and fun, it gets old fast, and it doesn’t really go anywhere. Elmo is learning about counting to four and different shapes, but he’s not learning a whole lot of life lessons."


I grew up watching Big Bird as the lead character, and I think this analysis is spot on.

I don’t have kids of my own yet, so I’m out of touch with how the show is being run these days, but if Elmo is the lead now, this definitely sounds like a step back in quality level.

I guess it makes sense from a business perspective for the creators. I’m sure it helps the bottom line. Kids go nuts for Elmo.

Regardless, it makes me happy to see PBS expand their reach. The quality level across the board is astounding! If it was the only network I had access to I would be happy.

Nova science is unreal! ‘Nature’ episodes are best in the business for nature docs. Many of the Masterpiece series are great... and don’t sleep on all the cooking shows. For a publicly funded organization, it’s absolutely mind blowing the quality of product they put out.

A real treasure.


> I don’t have kids of my own yet, so I’m out of touch with how the show is being run these days, but if Elmo is the lead now, this definitely sounds like a step back in quality level.

My (at the time 2 year old) referred to Seasame Street as "Elmo."

The shift in content aligns with the shift that has happened in Early Learning Education in the US--mainly less emphasis in academic subjects, and more emphasis on social and emotional skills.

Modern Seasame Street broaches social topics, with a small amount of academics (mainly letter and number of the day).


I happened to watch an episode when visiting some family and even though the characters were slightly different it did feel like it was touching on EQ more than IQ skills.

That being said the count is still the count and Chappelle's skit [1] is still spot on.

[1] https://youtu.be/v595FBEngj8


That's a strange claim since the primary complaint abut Elmo was the elimination of Big Bird's social-emotional learning.

Sesame Street is for pre-schoolers, which was never academic outside of a cadre of upper class dog-eat-dog New Yorkers


I wouldn't immediately dismiss the claim that the Elmo stuff has more explicit social-emotional teaching, as in "here's the thing we're teaching in this skit and exactly what we want you to learn!", while Big Bird's was more implicit and role-model driven (though I don't want to claim it was always subtle and didn't ever just come out and state what it was trying to get across, of course—there was plenty of that). I haven't sampled enough Elmo-street lately to know whether that's true, but it could be.


> , which was never academic outside of a cadre of upper class dog-eat-dog New Yorkers

Can you explain what you mean by this?


> I don’t have kids of my own yet, so I’m out of touch with how the show is being run these days, but if Elmo is the lead now, this definitely sounds like a step back in quality level.

There's a torrent of ancient Sesame Street episodes out there, I used to show them to my kid


I caught a few episodes a few years ago (my youngest is 6 now) and there were a few "lessons" that I though just wrong and I didn't want my kids learning. The only one I can remember was this episode where they were stacking lots and lots of hats on somebodies head. They were banging on and on about "guessing" how many hats were on his head. Don't count, just guess. It was bugging me.


Estimation is a very useful skill.


Not in my estimation.


Surely that was exactly the point of that lesson: sometimes you have to guess. I'd say it's a pretty good lesson to learn that sometimes you need to guess, and how to visualize and imagine what different amounts of something look like. What does 10 hats look like versus 100 hats?

Believe me, there's no shortage of counting on Sesame Street, so the fact they detour into guessing once or twice isn't a bad thing.


Big Bird used to clearly be the "main" or primary point-of-view character. He behaved somewhat older than the lower range of the target audience and so was a good aspirational, but not unrelatably-old, character for them.

Then Elmo became highly bankable (Tickle Me Elmo) and they leaned hard on him. Elmo is... not as good for modeling behavior and interactions.


Something else about big bird, his costume is crazy expensive for upkeep. They have a high standard of quality for feathers, and the longer, iconic feathers are both delicate and expensive. Theres a good reason his screen time and physical interactions have been scaled back. Elmo was a perfect replacement, but was also an accident character. Cant blame them for their choices in my opinion.


I thought you were talking about the scandal involving the Elmo voice actor...


IIRC, the scandal was baseless. I welcome corrections.


Because kids don't learn anything from Elmo, especially when he's running the show. He represents a child at their pinnacle of overtly bad behavior problems: a toddler. He's pure entertainment: loud, bright red, and obnoxious.

Obviously kids love it.


I have exactly one lasting memory of Elmo from the 90s. He was yelling random things such as "belly button! belly button!" until some adults stopped him and walked him through the definition of the word "important".

So... yeah, you nailed it.


Elmo talked to children like babies. Before elmo, Sesame Street treated children as adults. They still do at times.


Come on. Elmo did some awesome music videos.

With Norah Jones: https://youtu.be/FEzxchU4RUY

With Katy Perry: https://youtu.be/PwZnCkoX5gI

And my absolute favorite, better than the original, with the Goo Goo Dolls: https://youtu.be/uGohKgNOXnU

Edit... but... yes... the Elmo Numa Numa tops everything: https://youtu.be/2rAKszSX2tU (which btw, was indeed uploaded 11 years ago, but I think has an erroneous view count..)


Those all make the OP's point - none of them has grown-up lyrics. Compare to Dave Matthews and Grover singing about feelings:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po5lHYJJQfw


“Everybody make like a train now”

https://youtu.be/E4TRvYAyt3k


That's not Sesame Street. The Sesame Street Muppets were unique to the show:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sesame_Street_Muppets

Here's Johnny Cash on Sesame Street:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H75eQX006jA


All good, but the Stevie Wonder episode changed my life:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE


“Come on you guys, Let’s have a beach party”

https://youtu.be/yUcWNz4YXlA


apparently your take on childrens TV is wrong! i hope you are sufficiently corrected!


Children's entertainment from the Mr. Rodgers era combined lessons from therapy and child psychology to act as a supplement for parenting. I'm not sure what it is now, and it's especially confusing to me why PBS would be so interested in merchandising when they're supposedly a government agency.


PBS is not a government agency. It's a non-profit funded in part (about 50%) by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The rest of its funding is through donations and sponsorships.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is also a non-profit, funded solely by the federal government, but is independent from PBS and doesn't produce any programming.


PBS receives some funding from the US government, however it is an independent non-profit corporation.

My guess is they are trying to generate much-needed funds from toy sales, as well as compete for eyeballs with other more engaging children's programming ("bombardment" as Fred Rogers once called it).


Ah, that Nora Jones piece is gold.


I wish there was a way to get all of the episodes of Mr. Rogers, especially outside of the US. Current offerings really lack the patient approach he exemplified. There's one DVD set with just 30 episodes, no digital downloads anywhere.


Daniel Tiger’s certainly no replacement for it. And heavy auto-tuning in kids’ entertainment really bugs me. Let them hear natural human voices.


Still gotta admit PBS’s current kid television is way better than anything on Disney/Nickelodeon. We only have an antenna a we watch a lot of PBS. I really, really dislike the kids shows on Disney/Nickelodeon


Agree. Paw Patrol is like crack for kids. It is mostly addictive filler designed to get them to buy a bunch of toys.

The difference between Paw Patrol and Daniel Tiger is night and day.


Dunno. Paw Patrol demonstrates a lot of teamwork and proactive attitudes.


Also unpaid exploitation of children by an incompetent authority


Also seems to inspire 3 year olds to save the day

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-50851639


PBS is fortunate that Disney/Nickelodeon are so egregiously bad they make anybody else look good. Shit, even the toy-shilling 'saturday morning' cartoons of the 80s weren't as bad.


I don't know... I rewatched Thundercats as an adult and I'm not sure how I ever enjoyed watching it...


The exploitative intent was certainly present back then, but they weren't as good at it as they are today. The degenerate science of advertising to children has only grown more advanced.


This is something I've been puzzling about for a while. Marketing is evolving every generation but human perception/brains is not. People get PhDs in this stuff. We don't seem to be building better defenses, either biologically or culturally, against the ever improving marketers. There's no telling what the end result will be, but I'm not looking forward to finding out.


Nature cat is decent. I really, really liked the recent Christmas episode and the message it had


Autotune seems to be antithetical to the basic themes (e.g. it's ok to be yourself and mistakes are ok) of Daniel tiger and Mr Rogers. It really, really bothers me when I hear it.


There are seven "best of" seasons on Prime with 10-15 episodes each, highlighting most of the milestone episodes with the things you remember. Most of the answer to these things is "It's on prime" or "It's on the PBS app, which you pay for or subscribe to via your local PBS stations."


It sounds like what we need is a Disney+, but for PBS


I pay $3-4 (can’t remember the exact price because it’s god damned cheap) for access to all the PBS Kids content on Amazon Video, so it pretty much exists already.


Indeed, and why isn't the Frontline back catalog on Netflix and other outlets?


If you already happen to have Amazon Prime, A lot of it is on Prime video.


Can you tell me more about the Elmoization of Sesame Street?


Sesame street was considerably funkier, psychedelic and kind of gritty. Elmo was a herald of a much cleaner and sort of infantilized Sesame Street. The massive commercial success of the Elmo toys especially made it feel like it had become very commercial and a lot less grassroots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwio5qGg8o4


Totally -- the "Bridgekeeper," that animated circle bit with Phillip Glass music in the background, "123456789101112" with Pointer Sisters, Cab Calloway, and generally more realish kids and grown-ups on the set -- as a kid, I always felt like Sesame Street was cool and hip, as opposed to some "kid's show" that was talking down to me


copy-pasta from another of my comments

For a reference essay on the shift from Big Bird to Elmo: https://kotaku.com/how-elmo-ruined-sesame-street-1746504585

Major thesis: "It started in small ways. A lot of stories used to be based around Big Bird, who was psychologically characterized as a six-year-old. And in a lot of ways, this was ideal—six years old was on the older end of Sesame Street’s age demographic, and Big Bird served as both a role model and a peer to his audience. Big Bird’s comparative maturity also meant that he could project a wide range of emotions—he was ‘old enough’ to understand mature concepts, such as the permanence of Mr. Hooper’s death."

"Elmo stories, on the other hand, tend to affirm and celebrate the child’s perspective. Rarely, if ever, is Elmo’s innocence challenged, or is he forced to think about someone’s happiness other than his own. He spends most of his time hanging out with Zoe, Abby, Telly, and Baby Bear—Muppets who share his emotional maturity, and unlike Grover, Kermit, and Ernie, do nothing to push him. In fact, he is the de facto leader of his group—the dialogue lowers to Elmo’s level, rather than rising to an older character’s. And while this is cute and fun, it gets old fast, and it doesn’t really go anywhere. Elmo is learning about counting to four and different shapes, but he’s not learning a whole lot of life lessons."


> It premiered on November 16, 1998, as part of the show's structural change and originally ran fifteen minutes at the end of each episode until 2009, but was then rebooted in 2017. It was designed to appeal to younger viewers and to increase ratings, which had fallen in the past decade. The segment is presented from the perspective of a three-year-old child as represented by its host, the Muppet Elmo, performed by Kevin Clash in the original series and Ryan Dillon in the 2017 reboot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmo%27s_World


I wish I could find a source for Mister Wizard’s World..


HBONow/Go/Max has a lot of Classic Seasame Street.

Not all but many episodes.


HBO is your place.


PBS Digital Studios is one of the best things on YouTube.

I particularly like SpaceTime, Eons, and Crash Course. There are many others, too.

https://www.youtube.com/user/pbsdigitalstudios


They have a lot of great history shows as well. I catch myself watching Rocky Mountain PBS and Wyoming PBS as late night TV on occasion.

They're more dry than the ones you mentioned, but pleasant to nod off to.


And IdeaChannel, before they stopped making new episodes.


About two years ago I did some work for PBS that might be related to this. The objective was to turn their catalog into a static feed that could be consumed by table top boxes.

An interesting aspect of the project was that their catalog was fairly well normalized. I was expecting the usual mess of data structures.

It was built with vanilla Django. No rest framework because the feed was rendered to static files served by S3. During our discussions I brought using Go for its performance and resilience. That was (correctly) decided against and we went with Django. Why Django? It's easy to wrap up periodic jobs as commands and runnning them with django celery.


I would expect PBS, of all TV stations, to be less constrained by distribution contracts and to be able to stream their content worldwide. Instead, they choose Youtube TV which is US-only.


It turns out that licensing doesn't work that way.

Worldwide distribution costs more than domestic, and streaming rights cost more than broadcast-only. And PBS doesn't have as much leverage as for-profit broadcasters, so the negotiations for those rights took longer.

Here's some prior context:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/04/15/w...

https://www.techhive.com/article/3338083/why-live-pbs-stream...


It's their own show though. Who would they have to pay for streaming rights?


They still have to abide by SAG and Writers Guild contracts, they still have to clear stills, and they still have to deal constantly with music rights and existing distribution agreements. PBS also show stacks of shows acquired from elsewhere or which are international co-productions.

The answer is they'd have to pay stacks of people for streaming rights, on a tiny budget. I really pity the poor bastards at PBS who had to try and arrange the underlying copyright clearance for this YouTube deal, which must have been an unholy nightmare given their budget.


They may have already signed an exclusive streaming contract with another provider.


PBS is available on all kinds of mediums. They have apps on Apple's App store, they have apps on Apple TV, and you can stream content from their web site(s). And not only new programs, but amazing archives of old content as well. Want to relive your childhood of watching Mr. Rogers? It's all there, it's all free, and it's available via a bunch of access methods! So rather than choosing Youtube TV, they seem to be embracing a "all possible mediums" strategy. The only down side is that you need to get around the location check. Pretty great for free if you ask me. I'm surprised all their stuff isn't on Netflix to be honest, since it's just about everywhere else.


>Instead, they choose Youtube TV which is US-only.

I'm an avid PBS Frontline viewer (some of the best documentaries out there). As a Canadian, I can watch most of them on the PBS website, but the odd time an episode will be rights restricted. I assume this is because of footage or music that they are unable to clear the licenses for outside of the US. And really, as a publicly funded broadcaster, why should they care about me in Canada?


I was sifting through the comments hoping to discover that this is available in Canada. It is disappointing that it is not because PBS was available over the air or as part of basic cable service in many Canadian communities. Border stations were quite active in soliciting funds from Canadian viewers, and many Canadians grew up with their programming. I don't know what the current state of affairs is with PBS since I have not watched television for over 15 years, but would be interested in seeing PBS extend its reach into Canada for others to benefit from.


>but would be interested in seeing PBS extend its reach into Canada for others to benefit from.

I'm with you. But I think you'd run into the 1-2 combination of the American public not wanting to fund free TV for Canadians (though obviously the marginal cost is ~$0) and the Canadian public not wanting to "pollute" our air waves with American media.


Maybe they sold the rights for that particular episode to a broadcaster in Canada, like the CBC?


>Maybe they sold the rights for that particular episode to a broadcaster in Canada, like the CBC?

Also possible, and something I hadn't thought of.


why would you expect that?


"The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations in the United States..." (emphasis mine)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBS


But the last two words in your quote are "United States."

PBS, like all distributors, licenses content from producers of content--sometimes PBS is the producer, often it is not--for distribution inside a defined territory.

For example, Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Downton Abbey, and Are You Being Served are all British TV shows licensed by PBS for distribution in the US. PBS can't stream them worldwide same as the BBC can't show some of the content it distributes outside of the United Kingdom.


I can't stream BBC 1 in the US either though.


I thought you could if you have an account and accept the terms (including claiming to have a television licence, which I think requires a (British) national insurance number to obtain)?

Or do you mean as an American in the US?


Perhaps it's changed, but last time I looked the BBC had simple GeoIP blocking for anyone not inside the UK.


Not simple - they have an extensive blacklist of VPN servers too.


this provides an incentive for someone to provide vpn/tunneling service with IP pool large enough to prevent blacklisting to be effective


That doesn't last long.

The BBC use the same provider as a number of Vegas gambling services, and they're very effective because Vegas is willing to spend lots of money on forensic work.


You cannot do this even as a Brit in the US. Everything on the iPlayer (except radio) is geo-restricted to the UK, and they're really very good at playing whack-a-mole with the VPN services as well.


They still buy syndicated content and have licenses for distributing things like BBC.


Like others have pointed out they're still licensing from content creators to broadcast in the US.

This is why new Sesame Street episodes are now on HBO and not PBS


It's a reasonable expectation for original content that they produce themselves. The problems start when you enter into byzantine licensing agreements with third party producers that insist on all sorts of complex agreements that are only valid within certain regions. It gets worse when those producers start delegating to even more subcontractors.

It's kind of backwards to be doing business this way. There are plenty of Youtube channels that have a wider reach than many TV shows with millions of subscribers and views per video. The trick is simply to ensure you have copyright for all content that you create plus a world wide distribution license for any third party content embedded in that (e.g. background music). This is basically how Netflix works these days and one of the reasons they are mopping up the media market that is still focused on creating and selling content for individual TV channels.


> This is basically how Netflix works these days

It absolutely isn't.


Basically, most Netflix productions launch on the same day in most/all countries they operate in. So it is absolutely their strategy to do this.


The Sunday night lineup: Masterpiece, Monty Python, The Two Ronnies (or Dave Allen At Large), Doctor Who for an hour and a half until 12:30 ensuring you were tired for school the next morning.

Thank God for WTTW 11.


So, it's part of tv.youtube.com, which costs $49.99 per month plus tax?


Not sure why you are getting downvoted. PBS has always been free to watch over the air. The article talks about how great it is to have PBS available for streaming on Youtube TV. But it doesn't mention YouTube TV is a subscription only service starting at $50/month. This is similar to a cable provider offering 100+ PBS channels to its $50/month subscription. Call me cheap, but I don't want to pay $50/month to be able to stream PBS.


You're assuming that people would sign up for YouTube TV just to watch PBS and nothing else. This is great news for people who already subscribe to YTTV or are cross-shopping against Sling, AT&T TV Now, etc.


- PBS Passport : $5/month

- PBS Kids* : $4.99/month

- PBS Masterpiece* : $5.99/month

- PBS Living* : $2.99/month

$19/month for all of these, is still better than $50 for Youtube TV, if all you care about is PBS programming.

* Requires Amazon Prime


Sure that's cool, but without a rooftop antenna, I get 2 different PBS stations, each which have 3 digital channels, so I get 6 PBS channels. Most programming is in full HD and higher resolution than streaming which always seems to add extra levels of compression. These are the ONLY stations I get without rooftop because PBS transmitters have more geographical coverage than any other network in the US. With my super big-ass gigantic antenna on a 50 ft tall pole, I get a bunch of other networks as well, again with higher resolution than typical cable or streaming. But the point is that even without any antenna, most people get at least one PBS station, which typically will have at least 3 channels multiplexed in their band.

The announcement above seems to be an ad for youtube's $50 streaming service. Anyone who has that service already knows what it carries. Anyone wanting to sign up for that service based on PBS alone should just turn on their TV and see what happens.

It's useful though for Americans living out of the country.


90% of what I watch on tv is PBS. I could see myself switching to YouTube TV just for this. Granted PBS is over the air for free and all of their shows are online for $5/mo. but I like my local station's lineup selections, etc


The $5/month (or more) will get you more than what's currently free to stream, and you'll support your local station.

(for disclosure, I work for a PBS station)


I pay $5 a month to my local PBS but it ticks me off that if I want to stream the live channel I have to pay YouTube TV. I'd gladly pay $10-$15 a month for just my local PBS channels in HD. My antenna isn't always reliable to pick them up, which puts me in the spot of paying my local PBS vs YouTube TV.

Aside from that, I love PBS.


From my understanding of the distribution infrastructure, this would actually not be very hard to implement. That's not my area of focus though, so I could be wrong. If enough people were to ask for it, it would probably be considered.


Would you pay $50/month of it? That's how much YouTube TV costs and it seems like that is the only way to get these 100+ PBS channels. It does come with a lot of other channels.


I watch PBS NewsHour everyday on YouTube. It's great!


Another news show you may want to check out is Democracy Now. I always watch or listen to the first ~10 minutes, where they do headlines.


I've caught it on occasion through the local PBS affiliate channel and feel its high quality like the News Hour. I just never think to check it. Is that available on YouTube?


This is awesome and really seals the deal for me wrt to youtube tv. It was the one missing channel for me.

For local cable operators I think there is a big opportunity though to develop their own apple tv apps to stream IPTV so that the remain relevant. I have pretty fast local internet and youtube tv for less than the bundled package. They are already streaming IPTV to small boxes connected to a TV so it seems like apple tv integration should be easy.


It's great to see PBS finding new ways to reach out to audiences through different streaming services. This is a very smart and strategic way to grow it's audience.


It will be interesting to see what changes these streaming services bring to TV consumption and the Internet in the next decade. Comcast and other providers are losing subscribers to YouTube TV and Hulu. I suspect this will cause internet prices in the US to rise since these companies will want to make up the shortfall.


The local PBS station in my area has a weak signal but has three to four different channels, one for kids by the way PBS Kids. I'd like to watch it on Youtube instead.


YouTube TV is nice, but is missing all the Viacom cable channels that are on the other streaming services (Comedy Central, MTV, etc).


As far as I am aware, having Viacom channels is the exception rather than the rule for streaming cable providers. Along with Youtube TV, Hulu TV, Playstation Vue, and Fubo TV also do not carry Viacom channels.


Yep, the only carrier is AT&T TV which only comes from AT&T's negotiating weight with U-Verse and DirecTV.


Sling also has Viacom.


It’s missing the Weather Channe and that’s a huge miss.


Do you know if is there any Kodi Plugin for YouTube TV?


What are great local shows in your area on PBS?


There are lots of good local food/cooking shows. They are cheap to produce and popular with viewers.


Man, say what you want but YouTube was just a damn brilliant invention.


Would have to agree


[flagged]


you don't vpn ?


FWIW VPN is insufficient for youtube.tv; in addition to geo-ip it requires your browser to report a location. IIRC there's a firefox addon that can report an arbitrary location.

IANAL, but it seems to me intentionally instructing your browser to report a false location in order to get access to services you would otherwise be denied would count as wire-fraud.


What about if you RDP into a machine (physical or cloud) located in the US?


Can you do 30fps video over RDP? Sounds questionable.


That's all fine and dandy until they get some copyright infringement complaints, Google takes away all of their money, and they have nobody to complain to since Google doesn't have people.


Can anyone explain why PBS television stations are local rather than nationwide? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a local program on one, but they seem to have a huge extra layer of bureaucracy in order to broadcast the same programs in a hundred different locations.


Can anyone explain why PBS television stations are local rather than nationwide?

The stations are locally-owned. Usually by a college, school district, or local government entity.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a local program on one

Almost all PBS stations have local programming, even in small markets. Some of them award-winning programs.

And a lot of the "national" shows are actually productions of local stations. For example, Masterpiece is WGBH/Boston (in partnership with other broadcasters). Sesame Street started out as WNET/Newark.

Some PBS stations do a good job of providing unique programming to small markets. For example, in the 90's WVIA/Scranton aired Star Trek reruns because they weren't available in that market.


Cant let you leave my boy Huell Howser and his California Gold program produced at KCET off this list.


Don't forget Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting from WIPB in Muncie, Indiana.


Also a really common type of local program is programming about gardening and other outdoor activities. They'll focus on plants that'll grow in the local climate and usually have specials to tell people that now is the best time to plant some plant or another because the ground has finally thawed or whatever. I've also seen specials about nearby state parks and birdwatching type programs.


Georgia Outdoors is an incredible show local to the state of Georgia. http://www.gpb.org/television/shows/georgia-outdoors


Also Doctor Who, Blake's Seven, and Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, as well as Red Dwarf.


This is a little flip of me.. but, mostly because Nixon's administration wanted it that way. [0]

[0] https://current.org/1979/02/the-nixon-administration-public-...


It's a broadcast station, meaning that they can only serve customers in the range of their antenna. The programming itself is syndicated - and maybe created by a different company as well as the local advertising.

I suspect that you'll have a lot of stations streaming the same thing at different times.


I work for a PBS station. There are many bureaucratic hurdles, but distribution is actually one of the things we do best.

As some others have commented, the local/national split works well for PBS and NPR. The model is similar to how local broadcast affiliates work (like your local ABC or CBS station) but is more mutually beneficial.

I can try to answer any specific questions you have, if you want.


My instinct is the tie-in with public radio stations... which do a fair amount of local reporting (at least mine does). Presumably the cost of producing video programs is high enough that most local stations haven't traditionally done that.


CBS (for example) stations are also local; but with many stations corporate owned and many stations owned by a small handful of companies that operate in many markets. PBS stations are owned by local non-profits or often educational institutions and those have less of a motivation/ability to expand to multiple stations and multiple jurisdictions.


> Can anyone explain why PBS television stations are local rather than nationwide?

Local PBS channels cover local content. It's the same reason local news isn't broadcast nationwide.

PBS itself does nationwide coverage of news along with creating other content, which is syndicated.


No way, they do a ton of local programming. PBS is is really amazing institution.


It certainly is. I watch Newshour almost every day. It's a way better unbiased source of news than reading Twitter all day, that's for damn sure. Skies above CNN, MSNBC, and Fox combined.


Many Americans don't like the idea of a national state-funded propaganda outlet. Not that a national PBS would necessarily be like that, but it has happened in many other countries, and it's a valid concern.

Edit: there are a number of other reasons as well, including the difficulty of coordinating national broadcasts at the time that PBS was founded. Major networks were once also primarily driven by local affiliates, with some differences in local programming. The US is a big place.


> Many Americans don't like the idea of a national state-funded propaganda outlet

This exists[1], but it isn't PBS.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_America


It's not aimed at a domestic audience, and until recently this was enforced by law. VOA is also explicitly propaganda, at least under Bernays's more neutral definition of propaganda: it is intended to influence foreign populations to view the US in a favorable light, using what VOA considers to be the most accurate point of view.

Propaganda isn't just Soviet posters describing the abundant harvest. Any widely broadcast messages with an explicit goal to influence populations, even if the messages are accurate, is propaganda.

The recasting of propaganda as "evil lies" (or "fake news") has poisoned the well when it comes to discussion of accurate propaganda, which still exists and is in use every day.


There's also Radio Free Europe [1], but I don't think that's what the OP had in mind, as neither BoA nor Radio Free Europe broadcast in the US afaik.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Europe/Radio_Libert...


>Many Americans don't like the idea of a national state-funded propaganda outlet.

Not if you frame it like that, no.




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