WNET, PBS Digital Studios team up for new YouTube series

PBS Digital Studios is commissioning the digital media unit at New York’s WNET to produce 40 episodes for two new YouTube series, marking its first major content collaboration deal with a PBS member station. WNET’s Interactive Engagement Group will create short-form videos about gender identity. WLIW, the station’s Long Island affiliate, will produce a series on consumer technology. PBSDS will co-produce both. Representatives at PBS and WNET declined to discuss the value of the contract, which was announced Wednesday.

Success in sharing arts content inspires new programming co-ops for public TV

Public TV stations are starting two new programming co-ops modeled after the Arts and Culture Major Market Group project, which gathers and repackages local content for more than 30 stations nationwide. WNET, which handles the arts project, now has producers compiling station contributions for a new technology initiative as well. The local segments feed into SciTech Now, a half-hour newsmagazine hosted by PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan that premiered Oct. 1 in New York, Houston and Seattle. Another program-sharing pilot aiming for small and midsize stations, based at Maryland Public Television, draws from the popular genre of outdoors shows.

Pubcasters welcome Supreme Court decision against Aereo

PBS and New York's WNET joined major commercial networks Wednesday in hailing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found the business model of Internet TV service Aereo in violation of the 1967 Copyright Act. In a 6-3 decision, the high court held that Aereo’s business model of charging subscribers for access to an individual antenna and DVR service for over-the-air broadcasts violates the 1967 Copyright Act. The majority found Aereo's operations more akin to those of a cable company, regardless of the technology it employs, binding the company to the same rules governing broadcast transmissions. Those rules require cable companies to pay networks for the content they transmit. The majority comprised Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.