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PBS: an introduction to securing broadcast & sponsors

We’ll reveal how PBS works, how to secure a national broadcast, and how to raise sponsorship funds from companies and foundations. Check out our short video lesson on how to get started with PBS.

In this guide you'll learn how to

  • Use PBS as your fundraising secret weapon
  • Navigate the confusing PBS system
  • Secure a PBS broadcast 
  • Edit the right length cut for PBS
  • Identify potential sponsors of your broadcast
“Since my first virtual event, I’ve booked 37 more with partners ranging from universities to tech companies. I’ve raised $110,000 so far!”
Jen Tennican, Director, Hearts of Glass

One of the best kept film fundraising secrets is securing a PBS broadcast and bringing on underwriters to sponsor it. If you make the most of your PBS broadcast and underwriters, you benefit in a few key ways:


  • Audience: You'll reach a large national audience. Filmmakers we advise typically reach between 1.5 and 3 million viewers over the course of their broadcast deal with PBS
  • Partnerships: you'll have a powerful and appealing new way to capture the attention of potential partners and to monetize partnerships
  • Revenue: like almost nothing else in distribution, you can raise a significant amount of revenue for your film and you keep 100% of it. No distributors taking a cut.

Filmmakers we've advised have raised over $5 million to support their films from companies and foundations in exchange for recognition for their PBS broadcast (“This program was brought to you by…”). In this video lesson, we will cover the basic steps to secure a PBS broadcast and bring underwriters on board to sponsor it.


Looking for next steps? We've put together an entire course just for PBS: The Ultimate Guide. This course was specifically crafted for filmmakers that need help but are not currently members of Show&Tell. Unlocking PBS: The Ultimate Guide contains some of our most valuable content, but doesn't require a subscription. It's a one-time fee and when you sign up, you have lifetime access to the course. Please note: you will not gain access to our member-only webinars or full library of Guides.

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