PBS said it will now allow 30-second national underwriting credits, up from
the previous limit of 15 seconds per credit.
The creation of this new category of premium sponsorships is intended to keep
big spenders in the tent -- expected to be defined as underwriters that spend
$2.5 million or more -- and to get those existing underwriters to boost their
spending, according to the board, which agreed to the change at a meeting in
Williamsburg, Va., last weekend.
The longer spots are also intended to generate new money. The board concluded
that it needed to "attract corporations that would not have considered
underwriting PBS programs in the absence of 30-second credits."
The new policy essentially extends to national sponsors a practice
increasingly common at the station level. A total of 26 noncommercial stations
in the top 30 markets already accept 30-second credits.