PBS is preparing to debut a documentary channel on Amazon Prime Video that will feature nearly 900 hours of programming, including the complete filmography from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns.
The public broadcaster’s PBS Documentaries channel will launch on Prime Video on August 4 and will cost $3.99 per month. Burns’ documentaries will also be made available on PBS Passport, a member benefit of subscribing to one’s local PBS station for $5 per month. The channel will require an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription and will only be available in the United States.
“We had long hoped to be able to have all of our films available in one place so the public would have access to the body of work,” Burns said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that this is now possible thanks to the efforts of PBS Distribution and Amazon to launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel and also through PBS’s Passport initiative that allows viewers to support their public television stations. Both will also contribute to the larger mission of PBS.”
Other films that will be available on the PBS Documentaries channel include “Nova,” “Frontline,” “American Masters,” “Nature,” “American Experience,” “Independent Lens,” and “POV,” among others.
Burns has been working on documentaries for nearly four decades. His latest, the eight-episode “Country Music” docuseries, focuses on the music genre’s history and importance to American culture. Burns, musicians Rosanne Cash and Marty Stuart, and project producers spoke to IndieWire last September about creating the docuseries. Burns’ other work in the genre include acclaimed documentaries such as “The Vietnam War” and “The Civil War.”
“PBS is the leader of high-quality, compelling nonfiction entertainment, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a natural addition to our current streaming offering on Prime Video Channels — PBS Masterpiece, PBS Living, and PBS Kids,” Andrea Downing, co-president of PBS Distribution, said in a statement. “This channel will not only help bring engaging stories about life in all corners of our country to a new audience, it will provide needed revenues to sustain public broadcasting’s public-private partnership model for the benefit of all stations and the communities they serve.”
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