US pubcaster PBS announces online download initiative

MUMBAI: US pubcaster PBS has announced the launch of a download to own initiative that lets viewers purchase episodes of its programmes via the Internet for viewing anytime, anywhere.

PBS has teamed with Open Media Network, a non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing the best of public broadcasting and educational programming to the Internet via

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger says, "PBS and our local stations are undergoing a transformation from traditional television broadcasting to a vibrant 21st century digital public media service.

"Open Media Network is helping us accomplish this by offering favourite PBS programs for sale directly to the online audience. We're excited to partner with another non-profit organisation committed to bringing PBS' award-winning content to the public."

Open Media Network (OMN) uses the Internet to bring online audiences educational programming. It provides its service free of charge to other non-profit and service institutions while utilising advanced video and audio delivery technology. 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.

Open Media Network founder Mike Homer says, "Some of the most informative, thought provoking programmes on television are brought to us by PBS and its member stations. Making this content available through Internet downloads for anytime, anywhere viewing means that we can help PBS bring it to a much larger audience than ever before."

OMN says that it brings advantages to PBS, NPR and public broadcasters that 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 local associations PBS stations have within their communities, PBS programmes 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 and downloading the free OMN internet TV player. Each episode is $1.99 for unlimited playbacks, except for Nova which is priced at $7.99 per episode.

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