DIVERSITY AND INNOVATION FUND

CPB’s commitment in 2009 to promote greater innovation and diversity in public media resulted in establishing (during 2010) a $20 million Diversity and Innovation Fund, to be spent over two years to support the PBS National Program Service. Recognizing that innovation is central to the goal of attracting younger, more racially and ethnically diverse viewers and content creators, the fund will encourage the use of new and emerging technology across four content areas: television-centered, multiplatform content; digital initiatives; education initiatives; and gaming.

The fund is managed like a venture capital investment fund: investing seed money, providing incentives for partnership, analyzing return on investment, and analyzing impact. Most fund-supported projects are to be chosen from responses to formal requests for proposals (RFPs)—with guidelines posted on the CPB and PBS Web sites—rather than “over-the-transom” pitches. The first RFP asked for proposals in a variety of popular genres, including science, history, travel, natural history, which will explore digital “beyond broadcast” strategies that may include Web presence, mobile applications, social media, and inclusion in the Digital Learning Library and/or the PBS Teachers service.

Our Non-Licensee Partner(s)

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), Arlington, Virginia—PBS is the leading distributor of video programming for U.S. public television stations. It operates the public television program distribution/interconnection system and distributes a variety of programs, from both its own and others’ program services, to its 358 member public television stations across the country, which draw nearly 83 million viewers weekly. PBS.org is one of the most visited noncommercial Web sites in the world and the home of companion Web sites for more than 1,000 PBS television programs and specials, as well as original content and real-time learning adventures. In addition to its funding from CPB, PBS is funded by its member stations, a separate fundraising foundation, and various for-profit subsidiaries. PBS and Sesame Workshop are partners with Comcast Corporation and HIT Entertainment, PLC, in PBS KIDS Sprout, a for-profit cable and satellite television channel for preschool children, and PBS KIDS Sprout On Demand, a video-on-demand service offering more than 50 hours of programming daily for the same preschool audience, which is distributed on Comcast systems nationwide.