The streaming service for cord-cutters, which starts at $70 per month, now makes local PBS stations available to 99 percent of the US.
Public broadcasting just took another step into the streaming world. DirecTV Stream now offers nearly 250 PBS stations live, allowing subscribers to watch local news and events programming as well as national shows like PBS Newshour, Masterpiece, Frontline and Antiques Roadshow.
When DirecTV Stream began its PBS rollout in November, the live streamer said the process of adding hundreds of local PBS stations nationwide would take up to 12 months. Today the company says it now caters to 99 percent of the population. DirecTV Stream offers local PBS channels streamed live, as well as providing users access to the PBS video-on-demand library.
Live TV streaming services like DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV and Fubo TV are designed to replace a traditional cable TV subscription, and all four offer live local stations for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC nationwide. PBS stations have been slower to appear on such services, however. DirecTV Stream is now just the second live TV streaming service after YouTube TV to offer PBS.
According to its 2020 FAQ, YouTube TV offers over 110 PBS affiliates, but Google didn't respond immediately to CNET's request for an updated list. Meanwhile, PBS has more than 330 member stations across the country. DirecTV Stream says that subscribers in many large markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta, can access two or three local PBS stations.
In November, DirecTV Stream also announced that, like YouTube TV, it was also adding the national PBS Kids channel to its service.
DirecTV Stream recently changed its name from AT&T TV and offers over 65 channels for $70 a month. In our review we found it best suited to users who want access to both the NBA and NHL because of the local sports networks available on its $90 tier. In contrast, YouTube TV is CNET's current Editors' Choice for premium live TV services, with a more comprehensive general channel lineup and superior cloud DVR.