PBSd venture and MHz project aim to export public television

Television viewers in Great Britain, the Middle East, Russia and India could soon be watching American public TV shows, if two initiatives get up and running in the coming months. The PBS UK channel is being bankrolled by W. David Lyons, an entrepreneurial oilman from Calgary, Alberta. The programming will be assembled by PBS Distribution (PBSd), a partnership of PBS and WGBH that holds international rights to a “significant number” of public television titles, said Jan McNamara, PBS spokesperson. In a separate venture, Virginia-based MHz Networks, which feeds international content to some 30 American public TV stations on its Worldview multicast channel, will reverse direction with its MHz America package, pushing local shows from at least five pubTV stations and independent producers to foreign markets. Each could be on the air abroad by year’s end or soon after.