PBS announced today a download-to-own pilot with seven PBS-branded series: Antiques Roadshow, NOVA, NOW, Scientific American Frontiers, Arthur, Cyberchase, and FETCH! (gosh, do we really need to shout the titles?). Google Video and Open Media Network are doing the distribution. I've quoted the PBS/OMN press release in the post continuation area below. --Dennis
PBS BRINGS POPULAR TV PROGRAMS TO INTERNET VIEWERS THROUGH OPEN MEDIA NETWORK
PBS Press Tour, Pasadena, CA--July 26, 2006—PBS announced today the launch of a “download to own” initiative that lets viewers purchase episodes of popular PBS programs via the Internet for viewing anytime, anywhere. PBS has teamed with Open Media Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best of public broadcasting and educational programming to the Internet via www.omn.org. The announcement was made by PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.
“PBS and our local stations are undergoing a transformation from traditional television broadcasting to a vibrant 21st century digital public media service,” said Ms. Kerger. “Open Media Network is helping us accomplish this by offering favorite PBS programs for sale directly to the online audience. We’re excited to partner with another non-profit organization committed to bringing PBS’ award-winning content to the public.”
Open Media Network (OMN) uses the Internet to bring online audiences high-quality, educational programming. It provides its service free of charge to other non-profit and service institutions while utilizing the most advanced video and audio delivery technology available. Programming is delivered in full DVD quality and is then viewable on a variety of devices, including notebook computers, portable media players, cell phones and set top boxes.
“Some of the most informative, thought provoking programs on television are brought to us by PBS and its member stations,” said Mike Homer, founder of Open Media Network. “Making this content available through Internet downloads for anytime, anywhere viewing means we can help PBS bring it to a much larger audience than ever before.”
OMN brings unique advantages to PBS, NPR and public broadcasters, which extend viewership and encourage audience participation. OMN lets public broadcasters across the country like KQED (San Francisco), Idaho Public Television and WGBH (Boston) offer their television and radio programs from their own websites using their own brands or through OMN’s website, increasing their potential audiences.
Showcasing the strong local associations PBS stations have within their communities, PBS programs downloaded through OMN will soon carry a spot encouraging viewers to become members of their local PBS station.
Viewers can start watching PBS content now by going to www.omn.org and downloading the free OMN internet TV payer. Each episode is $1.99 for unlimited playbacks, except for NOVA which is priced at $7.99 per episode.
Select episodes of PBS programs made available through OMN include:
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS
PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! Programming
PBS is a media enterprise that serves 354 public noncommercial television stations and reaches almost 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS’ premier kids’ TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents’ and teachers’ most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
OMN is a public service dedicated to bringing “media that matters” to the public via the Internet. It gives viewers easy TV Guide®-like access to previously hard-to-find content created by public broadcasters, educational institutions, non-profits and community-based organizations. Based on Verisign’s advanced media delivery technology, OMN provides free and paid audio and video downloads in HD- or DVD-quality. It lets viewers watch their programs on their computers or take their personal OMN libraries mobile. More information can be found at www.omn.org.