PBS America expands Freeview reach






PBS America has announced an expansion of its UK presence on Freeview, with a coverage boost and a +1 channel.

From next week, the new PBS America Freeview service will replace the current restricted coverage channel on 91 and will be available across the UK between 1:00 – 11:00 pm every day.

The current PBS America service that is only available in some parts of the UK via Freeview HD and Freeview Play devices will move to channel 93 and will become a 24-hour +1 channel.

The changes are due to take place on Wednesday 20th November.

First launched in the UK in November 2011, going free-to-air in October 2015 and since the end of 2017 on Freeview, PBS America has grown its reputation for showcasing a diverse range of high-quality documentaries and factual programming with a strong focus on history plus a mix of current affairs, culture, science and nature. 

The channel now reaches 2.5 million viewers a month and has cultivated an audience that has an appetite for information and insight.

PBS America is the home of the work of legendary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (The Civil War, The Vietnam War) who together with the American Experience strand bring to life the epic stories and experiences that have shaped America’s past. PBS America is also home to Emmy award-winning Frontline, America’s longest news investigation series that shines a light on current issues, and the popular Nova strand focuses on science and technology.

Of the change, PBS America General Manager, Richard Kingsbury, says:
This is a big moment for PBS America. For the first time since launch we will be available in all homes across the UK. The channel has been particularly strong on Freeview to date so we are optimistic about the expansion into almost 6 million new homes. Our PBS supply line means that we are bringing our audience fresh stories whilst PBS values mean that the programming has the kind of depth and tone that many Freeview viewers appreciate.

PBS America’s increased availability on Freeview comes just in time for their exciting Christmas schedule which is packed with the channel’s favourites including Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Jazz and The Vietnam War. The pre-Christmas schedule also includes The Feud on the 13th December which is the true story of the infamous dispute between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

PBS America's previous restricted coverage was affected by recent changes to Freeview frequencies to make way for 5G mobile services, leading to some viewers in parts of Cumbria, Devon and Newcastle upon Tyne losing the channel - from next Wednesday they will regain the channel following a retune.


Technical data for installers:
Wednesday 20th November
  • Channel 91 - PBS America moves from COM8-Arqiva to COM6-Arqiva
  • Channel 93 - PBS America+1 launches on COM8-Arqiva using the former PBS America bandwidth. 

COM6 has >90% UK coverage; COM8 has ~75% UK coverage - DVB-T2 receivers only.

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