Last updated: January 3, 2012 - 11:37am
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.
- Google, Facebook: Local Media Disconnect?
- In Japan, Broadcasters Pitch Commercials With Commercials
- 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
- Pay-TV Fees Lift Media Firms
- Tax Breaks Expected for UK Shows
- Harder and Harder to Measure TV Viewing
- PBS FY14 draft budget has $11M content hike, no dues increase, thanks to income influx
- The Real World Cup Prize? Broadcast Rights
- TV Networks Go on a Pilot Buying Spree
- Little Viewers, Big Squabble
- Broadcasting Bigness Raises Big Questions
- The future of KCET
- News Corp. Gets a Lift From Ads and 'Avatar'
- Bottom-Line: Media Cos. Must Restructure Or Face Consequences