Stations’ joint effort brings streaming BBC shows to websites

A joint effort among PBS and five member stations has created a more efficient way for stations to offer online streams of British imports such as Doctor Who and Death in Paradise while honoring BBC restrictions that limit web streaming. The BBC’s agreement for streaming programs besides Masterpiece limits access to viewers within a station’s market. But COVE, PBS’s online video platform, does not allow for filtering by location, which hampered stations’ ability to offer BBC content. Those restrictions made for an “unmanageable” situation, said John Decker, director of programming at KPBS in San Diego. But stations are now using a new web page created by PBS that allows for location-based filtering, and five stations have agreed to handle uploading of BBC content to ensure quality and prevent duplicative uploading.

WKGC dropping NPR affiliation, picking up BBC, APM shows

WKGC in Panama City, Fla., will replace NPR's newsmagazines with BBC news programs distributed by American Public Media. The station, which is also dropping its NPR membership, cited duplication of NPR programs in the market as the reason for the schedule change, which takes effect Oct. 1, reports the local News Herald. During morning and afternoon drive times, BBC World News and NewsHour will air on the WKGC instead of NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. WKGC is licensed to Gulf Coast State Community College and shares its service area with WFSU in Tallahassee, operated by Florida State University.

With the BBC drama Call the Midwife, PBS will test its strategy to build more audience flow on Sundays.(Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz)

PBS taps BBC’s Midwife to boost Sunday viewership

PBS’s yearlong effort to build more audience flow in its primetime schedule moves into new territory with the Sept. 30 U.S. broadcast premiere of Call the Midwife, a limited-run BBC drama that will attempt to draw in Masterpiece fans and keep them watching an hour longer on Sunday nights.

APM displaces PRI as BBC World Service distributor

American Public Media will begin distributing the BBC World Service to U.S. pubradio stations July 1 [2012], ending the British network’s 26-year distribution relationship with Public Radio International. A five-year BBC-PRI contract is expiring, but the two networks will still collaborate on their co-productions such as The World and The Takeaway. Portions of the World Service air on 521 stations in the U.S.

“BBC World Service radio has been enjoying record audiences in the U.S., and we are delighted to be working with American Public Media to ensure that more U.S. listeners have access to the BBC’s impartial international journalism and programming across public radio,” said Richard Porter, controller, English, for the BBC, in a statement to Current. APM declined comment.  

Al Rose

Al Rose, 70

Albert E. Rose, former program director of New Jersey Network and later the program distributor who brought nightly British news programs to U.S. public TV, died of lung cancer June 16, 2010, at a hospice in Newtown, Pa.