PBS UNVEILS VIDEO PORTAL FEATURING FULL-LENGTH PROGRAMS FOR ONLINE VIEWING (April 22, 2009)
Thousands of Hours of Iconic PBS Programs to Be Available in One Place for the First Time Ever; Special Programming for April 22 Earth Day Launch
Portal Enables Local PBS Stations to Access Unprecedented Video Library and Share Local Content with National Audiences
Arlington, VA, April 22 � PBS announced today the beta launch of the PBS Video Portal (www.pbs.org/video), featuring full-length videos from PBS. The offerings span all PBS genres and the system�s most renowned award-winning programs, as well as content from local PBS stations, and will ultimately include feature-length films and documentaries, and live events and performances, with more content arriving literally every week.
The portal will bring thousands of hours of PBS programming to the Web � together in one place for the first time ever � including iconic PBS programming such as AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (including the recent documentary series WE SHALL REMAIN), AMERICAN MASTERS, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World, GREAT PERFORMANCES, JULIA CHILD COOKING WITH MASTER CHEFS, MASTERPIECE, NATURE, THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, NOVA, NOVA scienceNOW and more. PBS producers are also planning to deliver regular web-original content to the PBS Video Portal, which will include a state-of-the-art player and curated �collections� of content across PBS� deep video library.
The PBS Video Portal will mark its Earth Day launch by showcasing a series of environmentally focused programs, including full episodes from FRONTLINE, NOVA, JEAN MICHEL COUSTEAU OCEAN ADVENTURES, PLANET FORWARD, GREEN BUILDERS and DESIGN E2 and NATURE �Under Antarctic Ice.� Each program addresses the causes of our planet�s environmental crisis and suggests ways to reverse the course.
The new video portal will provide improved navigation capabilities, allowing users to search and find their favorite shows by theme, episode, host and date and watch full-length programs on demand. In addition, local PBS stations now have easy access to signature programming for their websites, as well as the ability to share their own locally produced content with the national audiences on PBS.org and with other PBS stations. This will provide increased opportunities for local producers to be discovered by national audiences.
�This launch illustrates our commitment to deliver PBS� signature programming to the widest possible market,� said Jason Seiken, PBS senior vice president of Interactive. �Our goal is to ensure that audiences have online access to the remarkable depth and breadth of PBS programming � in a format that puts the user in control.�
As part of the launch, the premiere episode of TIME TEAM AMERICA will debut today on PBS.org before its national broadcast premiere this summer. Co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and Videotext Communications, TIME TEAM AMERICA takes viewers to America�s most intriguing archaeological dig sites with a team of archaeological experts. For three days, they race against the clock, uncovering the past as they unearth the site�s buried secrets. The new series will debut on PBS stations in July.
Oregon Public Broadcasting president and CEO Steve Bass commented, �Having the ability to reach a national audience through PBS.org expands our mission in a way we could not do otherwise. For OPB-produced national series like TIME TEAM AMERICA and HISTORY DETECTIVES, the player lets us meet the audience wherever they live. It gives us one more way to enrich their experience.�
The expanded online video portal is a part of a larger PBS effort to leverage new technology to serve the public better. The PBS KIDS GO! Video Player (www.pbskidsgo.org/video), launched in September 2008, now features interactive games for children and parents and is streaming more than one million video clips each week. Currently, stations can link their sites to the national KIDS GO! experience or incorporate the player as a module into their own sites.
PBS was the top broadcast network TV web site in 2008, according to Hitwise* data. This comprehensive upgrade to PBS.org furthers the network�s commitment to attract new audiences and to serve as the premiere multimedia destination for online content in science, history, children�s programming, documentaries, dramas and live performances.
PBS, with its 357 member stations, offers all Americans � from every walk of life � the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 115 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS� broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry�s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS� premier children�s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents� and teachers� most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
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*Source: The rankings are based on the market share of U.S. visits, not viewing, among a custom category of commercial broadcast networks websites (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW and MyNetwork) and PBS for 52 weeks of 2008 (Sunday � Saturday) from the Hitwise sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users. Includes traffic aggregated from standalone websites americanidol.com, amw.com, familyguy.com, cops.com, thelot.com and thesimpsons.com.
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