March 27, 2015
At SXSW, PBS made a bigger splash than usual at the media/tech mecca, with seven (!) panels and three fest films. At the new-this-year PBS Lounge (swag, free beer, comfy couches, selfies posted direct to Net), you could meet filmmakers of the three PBS premieres. PBS also announced investment in theatricals. And more than two dozen PBSers were on hand to court indies.
But it joined a throng of distributors—not just broadcasters but also online platforms—doing the same thing. At the same time, it couldn’t say what indies wanted to hear, and it demonstrated its own version of a digital divide.