PBS doesn’t have the streaming rights to its shows, which is why cord cutting viewers like you can’t watch your local PBS station.

We’ve written in-depth reviews of Sling TV, YouTube TV, Playstation TV and more, but we never noticed something seemingly obvious: none of these services offers access to PBS.

Here’s Jefferson Graham, writing for USA Today, explaining why:

The reasons for PBS’s absence are complicated, but it comes down to this: Unlike CBS and the other broadcast networks, PBS hasn’t acquired the on-demand streaming rights for all of its shows.

This isn’t necessarily a big deal: PBS offers really great apps for Roku, Apple TV, and numerous other platforms with all kinds of things to watch. And you can use an antenna to watch free TV, including PBS, rather easily. You can even record live TV using Plex PVR. It takes some work but it’s worth it.

But the appeal of services like Sling is having a single place to go for most TV watching, so not having PBS is bit of a drag for fans of the nonprofit network. Here’s hoping PBS can get those streaming rights squared away, and local public stations get on board.

Justin Pot Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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