PBS announced a deal Thursday with Hulu to provide live streams of local public TV stations and the PBS Kids 24/7 channel.
The service will bring PBS and station programming to Hulu with Live TV, a streaming service that has more than 4.5 million subscribers. Participating PBS stations will reach audiences in more than 300 markets and cities. A full launch of the live streams will be completed by the end of the year.
“We are thrilled that one of the largest live TV streaming services is now home to quality local programming from PBS Member Stations,” said Ira Rubenstein, PBS chief digital and marketing officer, in a news release. “As more and more households look to digital streaming offerings, this announcement is part of our commitment to meet audiences where they are with the PBS programming they know and love.”
“PBS and PBS KIDS are among the most frequently requested channels by our subscribers, and we’re thrilled to add them to our core line-up that now includes more than 90 live channels,” said Reagan Feeney, Hulu’s SVP for live TV content programming and partnerships, in the news release.
Hulu bundles its live TV offering with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for $70 a month. The ad-free version of the bundle costs $83.
PBS’ latest live streaming agreement follows the YouTube TV deal struck in 2019 and a pact with Allen Media Group that started last year. The live streams from Allen Media Group are free but YouTube TV has a starting price of $73.
More broadly, the livestream deals continue a trend of PBS making its content available on online platforms other than PBS Passport. PBS Distribution President Andrea Downing told Current earlier this year that PBS will “need to evolve” as broadcast viewership declines in favor of streaming.