Downton Abbey once again helps generate big budget surplus for PBS

PBS closed its books on fiscal 2013 with an extra $24.5 million — more than twice the $11 million surplus that bolstered its bottom line in FY12. Earnings generated by distribution deals for the hit drama Downton Abbey once again brought in much of the extra revenue, along with ancillary revenues from PBS Kids’ properties, short-term investment gains and reimbursements for overhead costs tied to grants. Molly Corbett Broad, chair of the PBS Board’s finance committee, announced the positive financial results Nov. 6 at a PBS Board meeting. The meeting, at PBS headquarters in Arlington, Va., was the first of the network’s new fiscal year and marked the beginning of a new board term for directors elected or re-elected to new terms. In addition to electing a chair and two vice chairs, directors were briefed on PBS’s expanded efforts to diversify its content, workforce and audience.