US pubcaster PBS is planning to launch its PBS-branded channel on Sky in the UK on November 1, while negotiations with Virgin Media continue.
PBS says it is aiming for a “highly visible Sky EPG slot”, sitting in the entertainment section of Sky’s programming guide. However, the channel number is yet to be confirmed.
PBS UK will take programming from its US counterpart – including its acclaimed Frontline documentary strand – and will launch with the UK premier of Emmy award winning director Ken Burns’ three-part six hour documentary film Prohibition.
“Many will have watched PBS shows acquired by other channels without realising it, but with the vast majority of PBS’s back catalogue still to premiere in the UK, there is a tremendous wealth of epic true stories available to craft a highly valued channel here,” said PBS UK’s general manager Richard Kingsbury.
The executive joined PBS UK in May from UKTV, where he headed the channels Yesterday and Good Food.
His core team currently includes another former UKTV executive – Katie Cook, who is head of programming – with other positions still being filled.
PBS UK is a joint venture between Canadian-born entrepreneur David Lyons and PBS Distribution, which owns the international rights to the bulk of PBS’s output.
Details of the launch come after UK media regulator Ofcom greenlit PBS’s application for a channel licence earlier this month.