Franchises can only be created by PBS and are meant to be used in limited instances. In lieu of a Franchise designation, please consider the following alternatives:

A Franchise is the brand or parent of a series that does not have any episodes of its own but can include unlimited previews and clips. Some examples of franchises include:

  • Masterpiece
  • Ken Burns
  • Digital Studios
  • This Old House

Shows belonging to a Franchise are displayed on PBS.org via Curate, a PBS curation tool used to surface some content on PBS.org. If no shows are manually added via Curate, four of the most recently updated shows are added to PBS.org in a static carousel layout at the top of the franchise page. Check it out!

Viewers of your website can access Franchises by using the search feature, by viewing a show, or by clicking the Shows link in the top navigation menu. 

To request a Franchise, please submit a support ticket.

How to add a Franchise

Franchises can only be created by PBS. To have a franchise created, please submit a support ticket and include information where the "Required for Create" value in the table below is Y. (For the fields where the value is "Y" and there is a default setting, you do not need to include this information, unless you do not want the default value.)

FieldNotesRequired for create?
TitleName of the franchise. No more than 256 characters, including spaces.Y
SlugA unique identifier of the franchise. Cannot be changed after initial save.Y (automatically generated from Title, and is editable only prior to initial save)
Sortable TitleThis field determines the display order of a title in an alphabetical list. Removing leading articles such as "the", "a", and "an" will help make titles more discoverable. The Sortable Title itself is never displayed.N
PBS Content IDUnique IDY (automated and not editable)
Show NOLAFour-character, alpha ID assigned by PBS Programming to all national franchises.N
Short Description90 characters or less, including spaces. Used primarily when space is limited, such as on apps and small screens.Y
Long Description400 characters or less, including spaces.Y
GenrePre-defined list provided. Optional field.N
AffiliationIdentifies the owner/producer of the franchise, and should also include the franchise itself. (Ex: Masterpiece will have assigned as its Affiliation: PBS National, Masterpiece)Y
Allow Viral Player EmbedOn/Off. The viral player provides up to 20 minutes of a video. When set to "On", this displays an embed icon with the video player, and allows site users to embed the viral player on their own site.N (Default=On)
Additional Data
URLs & SocialSection for storing URLs for social sites, and a single, official hashtag. Optional field.N

GA Page Tracking ID

GA Event Tracking ID

Google Analytics IDsN
Exclude From DFPOn/Off. Determines whether or not sponsorship ads will be displayed for associated videos.Y (Default=On)
Funder MessageOptional field.N
Captions required for clips?On/Off. Sets caption requirement for all child video assetsY (Default=On)
Captions required for previews?On/Off. Sets caption requirement for all child video assetsY (Default=On)
Franchise Premiere DateOptional field. Is not surfaced on the front end for PBS products.N
Allow TopicsOn/Off. Legacy field, no longer used by PBS front end. (Recommend setting to Off, unless station/producer has specific need for the data.)Y (Default=N)
ImageVarious profile types available.N
Geo availabilityWhen set at the show level, the assignment cascades to all assets. Available in all countries is the default but most shows are set to US and Territories.Y (Default=US & Territories)

When a franchise is private, it and its child video assets will not be available on any platforms. Private=On is useful for a newly-created franchise, that is not yet ready for the front end.

A franchise and its child shows can have different Private settings. A private franchise will not automatically make its child shows private.

However, if a public franchise is subsequently made private, this change will set all of the franchise extras to be private as well. You can confirm this by looking at the Platform setting for an individual video asset. It will not affect the Private setting for any child shows or assets belonging to child shows.

Y (Default=On)
PlatformsDesignates the platforms on which your franchise will be available. As of right now, platforms include pbs.org, Partner Player, Bento, and Station Video Portal. Y (Default=All Platforms)

Core Data

  • Most of the fields in the Core Data tab cannot be edited by the Editor role. Editors may change:
    • Short descriptions
    • Long description
    • Genre
    • Availability to the Viral Player
  • If you do make changes to the Core Data tab, be sure to click Save before leaving the page.

Figure 1

The following items are pre-filled and cannot be edited. You must contact PBS to request changes.

  • Title
  • Sortable Title
  • Slug
  • PBS Content ID
  • NOLA
  • Affiliation
  • Created
  • Updated

See the Glossary for field definitions

Additional Data

Additional Data is added to a Franchise in the same way it is added to a show. Please refer to the Additional Data section on the Show page for instructions.


The images section holds all of the images that are associated with your franchise, including poster images and logos. These images appear on PBS.org, devices such as Apple TV and Roku, and apps.

Check out the image style guide to determine what image sizes you should use.

Only one type of each image is allowed per franchise; trying to add two of the same type of image will result in an error.

How to add images to your franchise

  • Click the blue Choose button to browse for an image file on your computer and add it (Figure 1.1).
  • Click the Select Profile dropdown menu and click the profile that is associated with your image (Figure 1.2). Only one profile type is allowed per franchise.

See full image style guide

ProfileDescription (sizes are width x height)Where it appears
  • Dimensions: 1920x1080
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9

Show - Banner
  • Size: 1920 pixels wide x 486 pixels high
  • File Format: JPEG
Show - Black Logo
  • Size: 1000 pixels wide x 500 pixels high
  • Color: #222222
  • File Format: PNG
  • Station Video Portal Show Page (upper left corner) 
  • PBS.org Mobile 
  • PBS.org Windows 10 App
Show - White Logo
  • Size: 1000 pixels wide x 500 pixels high
  • Color: #ffffff
  • File Format: PNG
Show - Color Logo
  • Size: 1000 pixels wide x 500 pixels high
  • File Format: PNG
This currently does not surface on PBS products but if you have this image, please add it to Media Manager for possible future use.

Show - Mezzanine 16x9

  • Aspect Ratio: 16x9 

  • Size: Minimum: 720 pixels wide x 405 pixels high; Maximum: 1920 pixels wide x 1080 pixels high
  • File Format: JPG or PNG
  • PBS KIDS All Shows page
  • Apple TV, Roku (PBS Kids)
  • KIDS Mobile (Android, iOS)
  • Station Video Portal Homepage (Featured Shows and Show Pages)
  • Episode pages
  • PBS.org Windows 10 App
Show - Poster 2x3
  • Size: 600 pixels wide x 900 pixels high or 2000 pixels wide x 3003 pixels high
  • File Format: JPEG
  • PBS.org All Shows, Show carousel, Homepage (Watch Shows), Shows Landing Page, Shows Dropdown, Search Results
  • Browse Page (Favorites)
  • PBS.org Windows 10 App
  • PBS.org Mobile (iOS, Android)
  • PBS.org and KIDS Android, Roku
Show - Showcase
  • Size: 2000 pixels wide x 732 pixels high
  • File Format: JPEG
Show - LogoThis image type is available in Media Manager but is not currently being used by PBS products.N/A
Show - Kids 16x9
  • KIDS ROKU app
Show - Kids Channel
  • KIDS Station player
Show - Kids Home Page Round
  • KIDS National Video player
Show - Kids Icon
  • KIDS show carousel on video app
Show - Kids Small Square
  • KIDS Station National Player
Show - Kids Video Pages Square
  • KIDS National Video player

Figure 1

  • The file name and profile display (Figure 2.1).
  • When finished, click Save (Figure 2.2).

You must click Save between each image you are adding.

Figure 2

  • When finished, all image links and thumbnails display. To view an image at full size, click the image URL (Figure 3).

Figure 3

How to edit an image

Editing an image simply means replacing it with another. To edit your original image, you must open it in an image editing tool, make changes there then upload it to Media Manager.

  • Click the pencil icon to the right of the image you want to edit (Figure 1).
  • Click the blue Change button.
  • Select an image from your computer.
  • The new image displays and the profile carries over from the old image.
  • Click Save.
  • The new image link and thumbnail displays.

Figure 1

How to delete an image

  • Click the trashcan icon to the right of the image you want to delete (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Click Yes, I'm sure to delete the image (Figure 2).

Figure 2


The Availability section controls user access to PBS videos depending on geo-location and the platform on which a video is being viewed. Editors are able to assign the geo-location at the Franchise level but should submit a support ticket to request platform availability changes. Privacy and Platform permissions can only be assigned by PBS at the Franchise level. Editors can make all Availability assignments on Franchise Extras. 

  • Click the Availability tab (Figure 1.1).
  • Click the Geo Availability dropdown menu and click the geographic area where this franchise should be available or not available for viewing (Figure 1.2). If the geographic area you are looking for is not listed, please submit a support ticket and specify the area to which you want the franchise to be available or not available.

All Geo Availability selections that are not prefaced with "Exclude" include all areas listed. For instance:

  • US & Territories = The object is available in the US & Territories
  • Exclude Australia = The object is available everywhere except Australia

Figure 1

  • In the Privacy & Platforms section, click the toggle to display ON to prevent your Franchise content from being seen on platforms such as PBS.org. Click the toggle so that it displays OFF to make your Franchise available for viewing on all platforms (Figure 2).
  • When finished, click Save.

Current platforms include:

  1. Bento sites
  2. Partner Player
  3. PBS.org
  4. Station Video Portal

This list will change and expand when PBS platforms and products are full integrated with Media Manager in early 2018.

Franchise statusWhat it means
ONThe Franchise and all of its associated Extras (clips and previews on the Franchise level) are not available on any platform.
OFFThe Franchise and all of its associated Extras (clips and previews on the Franchise level) are available on the selected (or all) platforms.
OFF with All Platforms selectedFranchise is available on all Platforms.
OFF with at least one Platform selectedFranchise is available only on the Platform/s selected.

Figure 2


The Relationships section is where you can keep track of which shows are associated with your franchise and any producers and distributors affiliated with your franchise's content.

  • The Associated Shows section lists all shows that are associated with a particular franchise (Figure 1.1). These assignments are made in the Associated Franchise field in the Core Data tab in a Show. This section provides an easy way to review shows that are associated with a franchise and ties all related to shows to the franchise, which is helpful when people search for a show on PBS.org. 
  • The Producers and Distributors sections provide a place to keep track of all producers and distributors that are or have been associated with your franchise (Figure 1.2). This information is not mandatory and is mainly for your own record keeping. It will not appear in the Media Manager API.
  • When you've finished making changes to the Relationships tab, click Save (Figure 1.3).

Figure 1