in full Public Broadcasting Service
Private, nonprofit U.S. corporation of public television stations.
PBS provides its member stations, which are supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by commercials, with educational, cultural, news, and children's programs that are produced by its members and by independent producers worldwide. Its popular programs have included Sesame Street , Masterpiece Theatre , Great Performances , NewsHour with Jim Lehrer , and Nova . PBS was founded in 1969 to coordinate and provide services to its member stations, which now number about 350. Funding is provided mainly by viewers' contributions, state governments, and grants from businesses and private foundations; the U.S. government, through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, supplies about 15%.