Type of Inventory

The inventory covered by these policies includes:

  1. Display:
    1. IAB Standard Unit on Producer Sites (sizes include: 728x90, 970x90, 970x250, 300x250, 300x600, and 320x50 Mobile Units)
  2. In-stream Video:
    1. Pre-roll up to 30 seconds in length with every video stream of 3 minutes or longer in PBS Media Manager. 
    2. Mid-roll is not available on chaptered video. 

Inventory Allocation

  • Producers will have up to 95% of their digital display and video inventory, where available, to acknowledge national corporate sponsors.
  • 5% of the total online inventory will be reserved for PBS Marketing efforts that include, but are not limited to, promotion of national programming and products.
    • PBS Marketing promotions will also fill available impressions in display and video that are not being used for national corporate sponsorship.
  • Producers will determine the SOV% (share of voice percentage) given to each sponsor.
  • PBS cannot guarantee impression goal delivery for sponsorships.

Additional Inventory

  1. Logo Placement on Show Pages: Logos will be served via Curate on the show page and deliver at 100% SOV.
    1. Each logo must be 120x60 pixels
    2. Up to 3 National Corporate Sponsors can be recognized
  2. Funder Text: All on-air sponsors can also be recognized in the PBS video portal in text adjacent to the streaming video window and on the program show page. Specs can be found in the Web Policy Manual.
    1. https://docs.pbs.org/display/PX/Editorial+Policies+and+Specifications#EditorialP oliciesandSpecifications-FunderRecognition

Ad Serving Fees

PBS will use Google Ad Manager to ad-serve sponsorships for display and video. Sponsorship delivery incurs an ad-serving fee that will be passed back to the producer and/or sales agent.

  • PBS will calculate ad-serving fees twice per fiscal year – at the end of December and June respectively. PBS fiscal year is July-June. Producers and/or sales agent participating in the sponsorship model will receive an invoice within 30 days of the close of those months.
  • Ad-serving fees are calculated by the following cpms (these are the current rates and subject to change):
    • Display/Banners:
      • Hosted & 3rd Party Creative - $.06 per thousand impressions
    • Video:
      • Hosted Creative - $.45 per thousand impressions
      • 3rd Party Creative - $.29 per thousand impressions
  • Example Calculation for Ad-Serving Fees:
    • Video: 100,000 impressions x $.45 cpm = $45.00
    • Display: 100,000 impression x $.06 cpm = $6.00

Hosted Creative: Creative assets are delivered from Google Ad Manager ad-server

3rd Party Creative: Creative assets are delivered from Sponsor/Agency server

Creative Review and Submission

All digital funder creative must be reviewed and approved by PBS, per the current online sponsorship guidelines. (See Addendum) If a video credit is already approved for on-air use, then it is automatically approved for online streaming, however, the producer must ensure that all rights cleared for on-air use are also cleared for online use.

Producers should submit banner creative and pre-roll to Gina Felix (gmfelix@pbs.org) and Matt Vogrin (mrvogrin@pbs.org) at least 5 business days prior to start date. New creative will be launched Monday thru Thursday. Creative will not be launched Friday thru Sunday.

Category Exclusivity 

The producer will decide category exclusivity for sponsors.


PBS will provide campaign reporting on a monthly basis. Reports will contain the following data points for both display and video:

  • Campaign/sponsor name
  • Impressions delivered
  • Clicks
  • Click through rate

PBS Obligations

  • PBS will centrally manage inventory.
  • PBS will schedule sponsorship campaigns in Google Ad Manager.
  • PBS will traffic creative on behalf of the producer and manage creative delivery for 3rd party ad serving.
  • PBS will provide delivery reports to producers on a monthly basis.

Producer Obligations

  • Producer must report the following to PBS (Gina Felix/gmfelix@pbs.org) for each sponsor at least 17 days prior to the campaign start date:
    • Program name
    • Sponsor company name
    • Sponsorship term (start/end date)
  • Producer should provide 30 days notice if a sponsor is being removed from a program.
  • Producer must provide creative to run in the allocated inventory that fits PBS Guidelines and Technical specs.
    • Creative can be updated once per month, per campaign, for each program/series.
    • Producers may submit up to 5 different creative executions from a single sponsor that can be rotated during a single campaign.

Display Implementation

For new sites, PBS will work with producers on their sponsorship strategy and provide the ad-server codes and instructions as needed.

Video Implementation

For new programs, PBS will work with the producer on their sponsorship strategy. Video message capability is automatically built into Media Manager. Technical work by the producer is not required.

Key Contacts

  • Gina Felix - (gmfelix@pbs.org) – for policy questions, day-to-day operations and creative review
  • Matt Vogrin – (mrvogrin@pbs.org) - for operations including trafficking creative and reporting, etc.


General Requirements

  • No third-party survey recruitment is permitted without prior approval.
  • PBS does not pay third-party serving fees.
  • Ad blocking via verifications services is prohibited.
  • PBS reserves the right to reject any creative that uses visual elements that are overly distracting, as these perform poorly with our audience.
  • All creative must clearly identify the entity providing sponsorship funding.

All PBS Digital Creative may include:

  • Non-promotional, value-neutral descriptions of the organization and its products or services.
  • Names of operation divisions and subsidiaries.
  • Organization mission language that identifies and does not promote or state an opinion.
  • Established slogans (verbatim) that identify and do not promote.
  • Length of time in business.
  • Non-promotional location information (i.e. phone number, website address).
    • The phone number or web address must be subordinate to the underwriter’s name or logo. Banners may include tracking language, such as “promo code
  • PBS”, “offer code PBS”, and “coupon code PBS” (or a web address such as www.sponsorname.com/pbs).1
  • To help identify an underwriter, specific products or brand names may be mentioned in audio and depicted in banners. Product images or depictions should not focus on comparative qualities or benefits. The use of people in such product demonstrations or product image is limited.
  • Calls to action of a non-transactional nature. The call to action should not be the primary focus of the creative, not be visually intrusive and not imply deadlines or discounts.

Digital Creative may not include:

  • Promotional or qualitative language (favorable qualities, benefits and claims).
  • Comparative language (i.e., “leader”, “largest”, “the only”, “exclusively”, “ranked No 1”).
  • Price and value information.
  • Health claims.
  • Award or prize mentions. Exceptions may be granted for factual major motion picture or music industry nominations or awards (i.e., Academy Awards, Grammys, Sundance Film Festival, etc.)
  • Favorable reviews (i.e., product review quotes), endorsements, testimonials Exceptions may be granted for tasteful review quotes for movie or music creative.
  • Inducement language (i.e., rewards programs, warranties, portion of purchase donated to charity, vehicle donation programs, holiday mentions related to sales of products, sweepstakes or contests).
  • Language that expresses a view about a matter of public importance or interest or which supports or opposes a political candidate.
  • Language that appears to be self-congratulatory.
  • 900 or other numbers where the caller is charged for services in addition to normal toll charges, if any.

Survey Policy 

  • No third-party survey recruitment is permitted without prior approval.
  • All surveys require specific language stating that the survey is for a PBS sponsor. The survey is not affiliated with PBS.


  • All cookies and behavioral tracking pixels must be disclosed to PBS prior to campaign launch.
  • Any cookies set on our users during a campaign must expire within 90 days of campaign end.
  • Flash cookies are prohibited.
  • Third-party survey recruitment is prohibited without specific exception.
  • For more information, refer to the privacy policy for PBS.

1 Promo codes, offer codes, coupon codes, and web addresses with PBS tracking language will continue to be prohibited in broadcast spots.