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PBS UK confirmed for Virgin Media launch next week

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PBS UK, the new British channel from US public broadcaster PBS, has been confirmed as launching on Virgin Media's cable TV platform next week.

The 42-year-old broadcaster, which claims a larger audience in America than CNN and HBO, had already confirmed plans to launch PBS UK on Sky on November 1.

The channel will also come to Virgin Media on the same day, making PBS's award-winning science, history and current affairs programming available to cable viewers.

PBS UK will launch with a British TV premiere of Prohibition, the Ken Burns-directed three-part documentary series about the prohibition era in America. It will also air shows such as NOVA, American Experience, Frontline and PBS Newshour.

The channel will be available on Virgin Media channel 243 and the cable operator has also secured the rights to offer PBS content on its video on-demand service, including the Virgin Media Player.

On-demand content will include music series The Blues, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis and Wim Wenders, along with the British TV Premiere of Special When Lit, a documentary about the pinball machine.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be a launch partner for PBS in the UK. This new channel opens up a whole new world of fresh, high-quality programming that's never before been seen in the UK. It's a welcome addition to our fantastic range of channels line and one we're sure our customers will love."

Richard Kingsbury, the general manager of PBS UK, added: "We are delighted to secure distribution with Virgin Media. It gives PBS the best chance of reaching the widest audience. Virgin Media's innovative platform also offers us new and exciting ways to help viewers discover our quality programmes."

Channel 4 will act as the main advertising sales house for PBS UK, while the channel will be managed by Red Bee Media.

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