Hot on the heels of its channel launch in the UK, American public broadcaster PBS is expanding into China, inking a major deal with China Educational Television (CETV) to launch a PBS-branded programming block on the network, starting next year.
The multi-year broadcast and distribution deal was agreed by PBS International, the distribution and sales arm of the U.S. network.
CETV has committed a daily primetime slot on weekdays for PBS-branded programming that will air on CETV-3, which covers the Beijing metropolitan area. This strand, tentatively titled Clear View, is produced and introduced by Chinese anchor and TV producer Jing Fang. It will premiere in January.
In the meantime, CETV’s distribution arm, Beijing Zhongxian Media, will function as PBS International’s sales agent in mainland China for the duration of the contract, with access to PBS International’s library of more than 500 hours of documentary, children’s and lifestyle programming.
“This is by far the largest deal we have done in China,” said PBS International’s VP Tom Koch. “We are ecstatic that the high-quality documentaries produced in the U.S. can now be viewed by a vast number of Chinese audiences. And we are very impressed by the resources CETV has committed to promoting and advertising our programming.”
CETV president Kang Ning added: “The strategic partnership between China Educational Television and PBS International is a thorough collaboration between two preeminent educational and cultural content providers in the world.
“This cooperation is not simply about programming distribution, but about developing a long-term strategic partnership, and contributing to the development and production of global educational programming.”
The news comes after PBS earlier this month launched PBS UK, a joint venture between Boston-based PBS Distribution and Canadian investor David Lyons.