Last updated: January 3, 2012 - 10:37am
In an effort to freshen its image and lift revenue, the Public Broadcasting Service is trying to be more like HBO — without the monthly cable bill.
Emboldened by the success of the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” one of the most critically acclaimed shows on television, PBS now faces the challenge of translating the buzz and enthusiasm for the show into donations to local stations and public financing. A stodgy pledge drive or traditional pleas for contributions would probably fall flat with viewers. So, PBS decided to fit “Downton Abbey,” which begins its second season, into a broader effort to spruce up its prime-time lineup. The goal is to attract new viewers to PBS and make audiences think of public television more like the top-tier programming of HBO, Showtime and other channels they are willing to pay for. “Think of PBS and the local stations as premium television on the honors system,” said John Wilson, senior vice president and chief television programming executive at PBS.
- Is PBS Neglecting Its Mission?
- Tax Breaks Expected for UK Shows
- Google, Facebook: Local Media Disconnect?
- In Japan, Broadcasters Pitch Commercials With Commercials
- Harder and Harder to Measure TV Viewing
- PBS FY14 draft budget has $11M content hike, no dues increase, thanks to income influx
- Pay-TV Fees Lift Media Firms
- Coming to You Live From Facebook, a Lure Back to Your Television
- Growing PBS finds new ways to draw viewers
- Seeing Riches in Sports TV, Fox Will Create New Network
- At CBS, a Recovery in Local Ad Sales and a Focus on Cost Controls Bolster Results
- Cable's Reach, Revenue, Ratings Threaten Network TV's Supremacy
- CPB Honors Minow, Eaton, WNET and NYPR
- The Real World Cup Prize? Broadcast Rights
- ‘Sesame Street’ to Air First on HBO for Next 5 Seasons