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WGBH International and PBS merge distribs

WGBH International's director Tom Koch has a lot to talk about right now. First and foremost is the announcement that WGBH Enterprises and PBS are merging to form a joint international distribution partnership. Koch says the idea behind this move is simple: 'PBS is both our largest funder and, oddly enough, has become one of our hardest competitors, and vice versa. We realized this made no sense given the new age of distribution of video, principally with digital distribution.'
October 1, 2007

WGBH International’s director Tom Koch has a lot to talk about right now. First and foremost is the announcement that WGBH Enterprises and PBS are merging to form a joint international distribution partnership. Koch says the idea behind this move is simple: ‘PBS is both our largest funder and, oddly enough, has become one of our hardest competitors, and vice versa. We realized this made no sense given the new age of distribution of video, principally with digital distribution.’

The JV will operate out of both Boston and Washington, and is tentatively being called PBSD. This means that in WGBH International’s 10th anniversary year, it officially becomes the distribution entity for PBS. The aim of this partnership is to create a more streamlined, one-stop location for international buyers of PBS content. WGBH International’s previous catalog of over 500 hours will expand exponentially with this move. ‘We are continuing along the way that we began about a year ago when we brought CS Associates into our group in order to have more than just WGBH programs,’ says Koch. ‘Our hope is that we will be able to represent the majority of public television programs in one spot.’

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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