PBS announced a partnership Tuesday with Allen Media Group’s Local Now television service to provide free livestreams of local stations and the PBS Kids 24/7 channel.
The service will start rolling out over the next few months. The participating PBS stations reach audiences in more than 300 markets and cities, according to a news release.
“This exciting partnership helps us continue to meet viewers everywhere they are with the quality content they expect from PBS,” said PBS Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Ira Rubenstein in the news release. “By providing an accessible platform through Local Now, PBS stations will be empowered to expand their digital footprint and engage new audiences with locally-produced and distributed programming. It’s all part of supporting and boosting the presence of our PBS stations in the communities we serve.”
Byron Allen, CEO of Allen Media Group, touted the partnership as a “historic agreement” that “cements our position as the leader of free-streaming local news and entertainment in America.”
“Viewers of all ages know and love PBS and soon they will be able to stream this amazing content for free, anytime on our free-streaming service Local Now,” Allen said in the release.
The partnership further expands PBS’ presence beyond broadcast TV. Aside from PBS Passport, its streaming service for members, the network also has livestreams on YouTube TV.
Earlier this year, Allen Media Group and PBS created a new PBS Digital Studios channel on Local Now. While PBS Digital Studios is most prominent on YouTube, it is also available on other services like Samsung TV Plus.
Local Now spun off from the Weather Channel in 2016. It provides news, weather, sports and more content to more than 225 markets.