Verizon, PBS, APTS to Announce TV Pact Friday

Verizon Communications, the number-two provider of telephone services in the United States, on Friday is expected to formally announce a pact between it and public television programming providers to offer public television via its new subscription video offering, Reuters reports.

Verizon “will carry the full range of public television programming,” which includes multicast services, or when multiple channels are broadcast digitally over the airwaves using new technology, according to Reuters.

Officials with Verizon, the Public Broadcasting Service and the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) are to make the announcement on Friday at a press conference, Reuters reports.

In 2005, APTS struck a deal with cable providers that allowed them to carry as many as four digital channels of noncommercial programming from each public station in a given market, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission is set to decide whether to make cable operators carry multicast channels that a handful of broadcast companies want to offer, Reuters reports.

Multicast news and weather channels are currently aired on a handful of stations, and private commercial pacts between cable operators and broadcasters to offer some of the new channels already exist, according to Reuters.

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