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RULE 3: Type of Materials

The goods and services must be directly or specifically related to the program or series of programs, i.e., they must be extensions of the program or series content and enhance viewer participation in and the effectiveness or educational value of the program or program series rather than merely bear some general relationship to the subject matter of the program.

Examples of acceptable materials include printed transcripts; audio and video cassette transcriptions; music soundtracks or theme songs; formal and informal viewer guides; specific learning tools for use in connection with the program; textbooks/tradebooks for use with the program; computer software for use with the program; and books by program personalities/performers specifically related to or specially developed for the program or series (but not including books or other materials promoted on a program by guests or performers).

Examples of unacceptable materials include books generally related to the program or series subject matter (e.g., a book on history of movies offered in connection with a movie review program); books on the lives of program personalities or performers not specifically related to program subject matter (e.g., a book by or about Baryshnikov offered in connection with a performance of Swan Lake in which Baryshnikov performs); posters, calendars, trips and other items; t-shirts, dolls, or other toys featuring program characters or the program logo or title; availability of program personalities, performers, or producers for publicity, speaking engagements, etc.

PBS recognizes that it will not always be easy to determine which types of materials fall on which side of the line. PBS will use its best judgment to determine whether materials to be offered would enhance viewer participation in and the effectiveness or educational value of a particular program.

Comment: These limitations are intended to preserve the noncommercial character of public television and assure that programming decisions are motivated by the public interest rather than considerations of private gain. They are also intended to limit clutter.

PBS Production Guidelines

*PBS National Program Funding Standards and Practices
*PBS Guidelines for On-Air Announcements Promoting Program-Related Goods and Services




The PBS Mission

Content Priorities

Proposal Process


Names & Faces

Producer FAQs

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