PBS starting up PBS UK channel in Great Britain

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PBS is launching a digital channel in Great Britain, the New York Times is reporting. The channel, which will run on satellite and cable, will feature “older and current PBS programs for which it is able to secure the rights,” the newspaper said.

A PBS spokesperson had confirmed the deal to the British media news website Broadcast in April. Also that month the UK search firm Robert Lindsay Associates reported placing Richard Kingsbury, the former head of two channels owned by Britain’s UKTV, as g.m. of the new channel, PBS UK.

PBSd, a joint venture of PBS and WGBH that sells PBS programs to home video, foreign and commercial markets, is heading up the work. PBS officials declined to discuss specifics, saying that plans have not been finalized.

Financial backing for PBS UK is coming from W. David Lyons, chairman and chief executive of the Orca Exploration Group, which operates a Tanzanian natural gas field, according to the newspaper.