PBS Plans for Transatlantic Venture

U.K. to gain another public broadcaster channel

The BBC might soon have a public broadcasting companion in the U.K. PBS has long been the go-to channel for those Americans looking for public television programming and reports suggest the Brits might soon have the option to also tune in.

PBS officials declined to discuss specific plans for the channel with The New York Times, saying that any talks are not yet final. However, indicators suggest the channel would be offered via cable and satellite and would include old and new BBC programming. Richard Kingsbury, the former head of two UKTV channels, leads the new project, currently being called PBS U.K.

A dedicated PBS channel in the U.K. would not be unprecedented. The initiative has roots in PBSd, the channel’s distribution arm, which already sells various programming to foreign broadcasters. Though many executives of the public television channel told The New York Times privately that PBS U.K. could go on air in the fall, PBS chief executive Paul Kerger said, "Maybe; we’re not there yet."