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PBS rolls out free live stream of select member stations

The live streams are available via most major web browsers and on the PBS app for Roku.

The live streams are available via most major web browsers and on the PBS app for Roku.

The logo of public media broadcaster PBS. (Logo: PBS/Graphic: The Desk)

PBS is rolling out free live streams of select member stations, including several local stations in California.

Starting this week, PBS began offering live streams of around 80 member stations across the country.

The move comes about a year after PBS began offering live streams of most member stations via YouTube TV, the first such partnership with a streaming cable television alternative.

Unlike YouTube TV, the live streams offered by PBS via its website and Roku app are free to watch. Most programming is available to stream, though a handful of non-PBS programs may be blocked to viewers from time to time.

“Today marks a significant milestone with the launch of local live streaming on, station video portals, and the PBS App on Roku,” Ira Rubenstein, the chief digital and marketing officer for PBS, said in a statement. “Viewers can now watch their station how, when, and where they want to, regardless of their provider. We now have an option for cord-cutters to watch live station signals free of charge that aligns with over-the-air access to broadcast.”

Viewers who live in a supported television market will see a live stream option after visiting the PBS website or launching the PBS app on Roku.

Several PBS member stations in California, including Sacramento’s KVIE (Channel 6), Santa Rosa’s KRCB (Channel 22), Chico’s KIXE (Channel 9) and Los Angeles member station KOCE (Channel 18). Other California member stations are not supported at launch, including San Francisco’s KQED (Channel 9), though additional stations are expected to roll out in the future.

At the moment, only the main, high-definition feed of a member station is supported via the PBS live stream feature — digital subchannels, including PBS Kids, Create and World Channel, are not available online.

To watch PBS live via a web browser, visit

List of member stations streaming on / PBS on Roku

Call SignChannelCoverage Area
KAFT13Little Rock (AR)
KAKM7Anchorage (AL)
KAMU15Waco (TX)
KAWB22Minneapolis (MN)
KBDI12Denver (CO)
KBHE9Sioux Falls (SD)
KCPT19Kansas City (MO)
KCTS9Seattle (WA)
KCWC4Casper (WY)
KEDT16Corpus Christi (TX)
KETC9St. Louis (MO)
KFME13Fargo (ND)
KFTS22Medford (OR)
KIIN12Des Moines (IA)
KIXE9Chico (CA)
KLPA25Baton Rouge (LA)
KLRN9San Antonio (TX)
KLRU18Austin (TX)
KLVX10Las Vegas (NV)
KNME5Albuquerque (NM)
KNPB5Reno (NV)
KOAC7Portland (OR)
KOCE50Los Angeles
KOOD9Wichita Falls (TX)
KOZJ26Joplin (MO)
KPBS15San Diego (CA)
KPTS8Wichita (KS)
KRCB22Santa Rosa (CA)
KRMA6Denver (CO)
KRWG22Las Cruces (NM)
KTNE13Lincoln (NE)
KTWU11Topeka (KS)
KUAC9Fairbanks (AK)
KUAT6Tucson (AZ)
KUED7Salt Lake City (UT)
KUSM9Bozeman (MT)
KVIE6Sacramento (CA)
KWCM10Green Bay (WI)
WBGU27Bowling Green (KY)
WCBB10Portland (ME)
WCFE57Burlington (VT)
WEDH24Hartford (CT)
WEDU3Tampa (FL)
WEIQ42Birmingham (AL)
WEIU51Bloomington (IL)
WETA26Washington ,D.C.
WGTE30Toledo (OH)
WGVU36Grand Rapids (MI)
WHRO15Norfolk (VA)
WHUT32Washington, D.C.
WILL12Decatur (IL)
WITF33Harrisburg (PA)
WJCT7Jacksonville (FL)
WKGB53Lexington (KY)
WKNO10Memphis (TN)
WKOP15Knoxville (TN)
WLIW21New York City
WMHT17Albany (NY)
WMVS10Milwaukee (WI)
WNED17Buffalo (NY)
WNET13New York City
WNIN9Evansville (IL)
WNJN50Trenton (NJ)
WNPT8Nashville (TN)
WPBO42Columbus (MS)
WQED13Pittsburgh (PA)
WQLN54Erie (PA)
WQPT24Davenport (IA)
WSBE36Providence (RI)
WSRE23Mobile (AL)
WSWP9Charleston (WV)
WTIU30Peoria (IL)
WTVI42Charlotte (NC)
WTVP47Peoria (IL)
WTVS56Detroit (MI)
WUCF24Orlando (FL)
WUFT5Gainesville (FL)
WUNC4Raleigh-Durham (NC)
WUSI16Paducah (KY)
WVUT22Terre Haute (IN)
WXXI21Rochester (NY)
WYES12New Orleans (LA)
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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).