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Hulu begins offering live feeds of PBS member stations

More than 300 PBS member stations will be offered through Disney's Hulu with Live TV, starting this week.

More than 300 PBS member stations will be offered through Disney's Hulu with Live TV, starting this week.

The broadcast set of "PBS NewsHour West" in Arizona. (Courtesy photo)
The broadcast set of “PBS NewsHour West” in Arizona. The daily news program is one of several shows now available to subscribers of Hulu with Live TV. (Courtesy photo)

The Walt Disney Company’s general entertainment streaming service Hulu is adding three new knowledge-based networks to its live television offering, the company announced on Thursday.

The channels — PBS, PBS Kids and Magnolia Network — are rolling out to more than 4.5 million subscribers of Hulu with Live TV, the $70 a month live television service that also offers access to around 90 local broadcast and cable networks from Fox Corporation, Disney, Comcast’s NBC Universal, Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD).

“As one of the largest live TV streaming services in the U.S., we are committed to providing a best in class user experience and a premium national and local channel lineup for our millions of subscribers,” Reagan Feeney, the senior vice president of live TV content and programming partnerships at Hulu, said in a statement. “PBS, PBS Kids and Magnolia Network 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.”

Hulu will add live feeds of PBS member stations from more than 300 markets, along with localized versions of PBS Kids where available. The service is the fourth to forge a distribution agreement for PBS member stations via streaming; Google’s YouTube TV first added the channels in late 2019, followed by DirecTV Stream some time later; some PBS member stations became available earlier this year on the free streaming service Local Now.

Hulu with Live TV customers can check to see which PBS member station is offered in their area by entering their ZIP code at this website.

“We are thrilled that one of the largest live TV streaming services is now home to quality local programming from PBS member stations,” Ira Rubenstein, the chief digital and marketing officer at PBS, said on Thursday. “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 will continue to make trusted content available to all households across as many platforms as possible.”

PBS member stations and PBS Kids will begin rolling out to subscribers this week, with customers able to watch live broadcasts of top public broadcast shows like “Antiques Roadshow,” “Frontline,” “PBS NewsHour,” “Great Performances,” “Austin City Limits,” “American Experience” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Sesame Street” and more. Each member station is independently owned, and available programming can vary by location.

Later this month, Hulu will add WBD’s lifestyle channel Magnolia Network to its base subscription tier, which includes shows like “Silos Baking Competition,” “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines” and “Maine Cabin Master.” The channel will become available through Hulu with Live TV on May 25.

Hulu has also reached an agreement to distribute WBD’s Hogar de HGTV, a Spanish-language network that offers dubbed versions of HGTV, Food Network and Discovery Channel programming. Hogar de HGTV will be available in Hulu’s Español add-on package, which is priced at $5 a month; the Español package also unlocks CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia and four other Spanish-language channels.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).