The Public Broadcasting Service may be looking to expand its network reach into Europe as negotiations with Dutch operators begin.

pbs_america_228x152The American broadcaster launched PBS America in the UK two years ago, and is looking to replicate its success with a dedicated channel for the Netherlands and potentially Belgium. The UK channel specialises in broadcasting its own US produced documentaries such as Frontline

Yet if successful, the public-donation and government grant funded broadcaster will have to adapt to local broadcasting regulations before launching with its flagship Newshour programme. In Europe PBS America is funded by advertising and carriage fees, however any sponsorship within newscasts is not allowed.

According to Broadband TV News, PBS is talking to various distributors in the Netherlands and will need access to at least one million homes in order to break even. This shouldn’t take long, with strong support from Dutch media groups such as the ‘Friends of PBS’ club, which is promoting the channel’s entry into the country.

The move to expand and cater for audiences beyond the US follows a trend set by other large PSBs in recent years, such as Deutshe Welle.