PBS, the US Public Broadcast Service, is launching a channel in the UK on November 1 on the BSkyB pay TV platform.
PBS has secured a licence from media regulator Ofcom for the channel, which will be managed by Richard Kingsbury, previously the head of thematic channel provider UKTV’s Good Food and Yesterday channels. PBS UK is currently in the process of securing a position on the Sky EPG in the entertainment section, and talks are ongoing with cable operator Virgin Media.
PBS UK is a joint venture between Canadian-born oil entrepreneur David Lyons, the chairman and CEO of Orca Exploration Group, and PBS Distribution, which holds the rights to most PBS output. Lyons has previously said he is interested in taking PBS to other international markets including Scandinavia and South Africa.
The channel will kick off with an airing of Ken Burns’ series Prohibition, about the prohibition era in the US. Other shows that will air include American Experience and Frontline.