In what is the channel’s first major content deal since launching in 2011, PBS America has closed a deal to acquire a raft of factual programming from international distributor Off The Fence.
The deal – which comes as the channel is posting record ratings, with January ranking as the highest rating month to date – covers 21 new shows encompassing over 22 hours of content, all of which aired on either TLC or The Smithsonian Channel in the United States. Titles hand picked by PBS America’s team include Death Valley, Death of JFK Jr, Challenging Niagara, Otters of Yellowstone and Tragedy in Amish Country. These new shows will begin airing on PBS America from May 2013.
“It is an exciting development for us to be looking further afield for content for the very first time. After nearly 18 months on air, we now know what our loyal viewers like to watch and they relish rich and in-depth stories about America and its history”, said Richard Kingsbury, General Manager of PBS America. “Featuring high production values and a wealth of ‘take out’, all of these factual titles share the same sensibilities as the rest of our output. PBS America is really starting to find its feet here and these fresh American shows will ensure we continue to offer something British viewers can’t get elsewhere.”
Mark Dee-Shapland, Senior Sales Executive for Off The Fence, added: “It is fantastic to establish a relationship with PBS America, through the acquisition of some of the programmes we have in our catalogue which spans over 6000 hours. We are pleased to be expanding the reach of our shows and are sure PBS America viewers will enjoy what we are offering them. Off The Fence prides itself on the strength of its partnerships and we very much hope that this is the start of a long standing relationship with PBS America.”