Is Pbs Passport Worth It? A Detailed Look

With the rise of streaming services, many viewers are wondering if PBS Passport is still a worthwhile investment. PBS Passport provides on-demand access to a vast library of quality PBS programming without ads or added fees.

But with so many streaming options now available, is PBS Passport still worth paying for?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: PBS Passport offers an unrivaled collection of commercial-free PBS documentaries, dramas, comedies, and children’s programming for a very affordable annual fee, so it’s absolutely worth it for PBS fans or anyone looking for high-quality educational content.

An Overview of PBS Passport

PBS Passport is a membership benefit offered by PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, that provides viewers with extended access to a vast library of on-demand content. With PBS Passport, subscribers can stream their favorite PBS shows and documentaries anytime, anywhere, on various devices.

What is PBS Passport and what does it offer?

PBS Passport offers a wide range of benefits for subscribers. Firstly, it provides access to a vast collection of on-demand content, including popular shows like “Downton Abbey,” “NOVA,” “Antiques Roadshow,” and many more.

Subscribers can enjoy full seasons of these shows, along with exclusive content not available to the general public.

Additionally, PBS Passport allows viewers to watch episodes before they air on their local PBS station. This early access feature is particularly appealing to fans who can’t wait to catch the latest episodes of their favorite shows.

Furthermore, PBS Passport offers an ad-free viewing experience. Subscribers can enjoy their favorite PBS content without any interruptions from commercials, allowing for a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience.

How much does PBS Passport cost?

The cost of a PBS Passport subscription may vary depending on the local PBS station and the level of membership. However, in general, PBS Passport is available to donors who contribute at least $60 annually to their local PBS station.

It’s important to note that PBS Passport is not available as a standalone subscription. Instead, it is offered as a benefit to donors who support their local PBS station. By becoming a member and contributing to PBS, viewers not only gain access to PBS Passport but also support the continuation of high-quality programming.

What devices and platforms support PBS Passport?

PBS Passport is supported on a wide range of devices and platforms, making it accessible to viewers wherever they are. Subscribers can enjoy PBS Passport on popular streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast.

It is also available on smart TVs, mobile devices, and web browsers.

Additionally, the PBS Video app, which includes PBS Passport, is available for download on iOS and Android devices. This allows subscribers to conveniently stream their favorite shows on their smartphones and tablets.

For a complete list of supported devices and platforms, viewers can visit the official PBS website at

The Many Benefits of PBS Passport

PBS Passport offers a range of benefits that make it a worthwhile investment for fans of PBS programming. Here are some of the key advantages:

Access to an extensive on-demand library

With PBS Passport, subscribers gain access to a vast and ever-growing on-demand library of PBS shows and documentaries. This means you can catch up on your favorite shows at your convenience, without having to worry about missing an episode.

From popular programs like “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock” to thought-provoking documentaries, the on-demand library has something for everyone.

According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 76% of PBS Passport subscribers reported that access to the on-demand library was one of the main reasons they chose to subscribe. This shows the value that viewers place on having a wide selection of content available at their fingertips.

Enjoy new shows ad-free

One of the most appealing aspects of PBS Passport is the ability to watch new shows without any pesky advertisements interrupting the viewing experience. This ad-free viewing enhances the enjoyment of the content and allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the stories and narratives presented on PBS.

A study conducted by Nielsen found that 87% of viewers find ads disruptive to their TV watching experience. By offering ad-free viewing, PBS Passport caters to the preferences of viewers who value uninterrupted content.

Supports your local PBS station

Another important benefit of PBS Passport is that the subscription fees go towards supporting your local PBS station. PBS relies on viewer contributions and sponsorships to continue providing high-quality programming to communities across the country.

By subscribing to PBS Passport, you are directly contributing to the sustainability of your local PBS station.

It’s worth noting that PBS stations are non-profit organizations, and their funding primarily comes from individual donors. According to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, viewer contributions account for about 35% of public TV stations’ funding.

By subscribing to PBS Passport, you are making a positive impact on the future of public broadcasting.

PBS Passport vs. Other Streaming Services

Content differences

When it comes to content, PBS Passport offers a unique and diverse selection that sets it apart from other streaming services. With its vast library of educational and informative programs, PBS Passport caters to a wide range of interests.

From award-winning documentaries to captivating dramas and thought-provoking news programs, PBS Passport provides a rich and engaging viewing experience.

Unlike other streaming services that focus primarily on entertainment and popular shows, PBS Passport takes a more educational approach. It offers a treasure trove of documentaries and programs that delve into various subjects such as science, history, art, and culture.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the mysteries of the universe or learning about ancient civilizations, PBS Passport has something for everyone.

Furthermore, PBS Passport offers exclusive access to a vast collection of PBS content that is not available on other platforms. This includes popular programs like “Masterpiece” and “American Experience,” which have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

Price comparison

One of the factors that make PBS Passport an attractive option is its affordability. Compared to other streaming services, PBS Passport offers a subscription at a lower cost. This makes it a great option for budget-conscious viewers who want access to quality programming without breaking the bank.

While other streaming services may offer a wider variety of content, they often come with higher price tags. With PBS Passport, you get access to a curated selection of high-quality programming at a fraction of the cost.

This makes it a cost-effective choice for those who prioritize educational and informative content.

Platform availability

PBS Passport is available on various platforms, making it accessible to a wide range of viewers. Whether you prefer to watch on your TV, computer, smartphone, or tablet, PBS Passport has you covered.

Additionally, PBS Passport offers a user-friendly interface that allows for easy navigation and seamless streaming. With its intuitive design and responsive playback, you can enjoy your favorite PBS programs wherever and whenever you want.

Who Should Consider PBS Passport

If you’re a fan of PBS and its wide range of programming, then PBS Passport is definitely worth considering. With access to an extensive library of content, including popular shows like “Masterpiece Theater,” “NOVA,” and “Nature,” PBS Passport allows you to catch up on missed episodes or binge-watch your favorite series.

It’s like having a personal on-demand library of all your favorite PBS shows, available anytime and anywhere. So, if you can’t get enough of PBS’s high-quality programming, PBS Passport is a must-have.

Great for PBS fans

For those who are die-hard fans of PBS, PBS Passport offers a fantastic opportunity to dive deeper into their favorite shows. With access to exclusive content, behind-the-scenes footage, and additional interviews, PBS Passport takes the viewing experience to the next level.

You’ll get to explore the stories behind the stories and gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered. Plus, with the ability to stream shows on multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, you’ll never have to miss an episode again.

Good fit for families

PBS is known for its family-friendly programming, and PBS Passport is no exception. With a wide variety of educational shows for kids, such as “Sesame Street,” “Arthur,” and “Wild Kratts,” PBS Passport provides a safe and enriching environment for children to learn and have fun.

Parents can feel confident knowing that their children are watching quality content that promotes positive values and educational growth. So, if you’re a parent looking for engaging and educational shows for your kids, PBS Passport is a no-brainer.

Appealing to documentary lovers

If you’re a documentary enthusiast, PBS Passport offers a treasure trove of captivating and informative films. From thought-provoking documentaries on history, science, and culture to in-depth investigative journalism pieces, PBS Passport has something for every documentary lover.

With access to award-winning documentaries like “The Civil War” and “The Vietnam War,” you’ll be able to explore and learn about a wide range of subjects from the comfort of your own home. So, if you’re someone who enjoys thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating content, PBS Passport should be at the top of your list.

Drawbacks of PBS Passport

While PBS Passport offers a range of benefits for avid fans of PBS content, it also has some drawbacks to consider. These drawbacks include:

Limited original programming

One of the main drawbacks of PBS Passport is that it has limited original programming compared to the regular PBS channel. While the service does offer access to popular shows like “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock,” it may not have as many exclusive or newer shows available.

This can be disappointing for viewers who are looking for fresh and unique content.

Fewer overall viewing options

Another drawback of PBS Passport is that it offers fewer overall viewing options compared to other streaming services. While it provides access to a vast library of PBS shows and documentaries, it may not have the same extensive selection as platforms like Netflix or Hulu.

This can be a downside for those who are looking for a wider range of content to choose from.

Not all PBS content is included

Although PBS Passport provides access to a large collection of PBS shows, it’s important to note that not all PBS content is included in the service. Some shows may have limited availability or may not be available at all.

This can be frustrating for viewers who have specific shows they want to watch but cannot access them through PBS Passport.

It’s worth considering these drawbacks when deciding whether PBS Passport is worth it for you. While it offers a convenient way to access PBS content, it may not have the same variety and selection as other streaming services.


While services like Netflix and Hulu offer more overall content, PBS Passport provides something quite unique: unlimited on-demand access to quality PBS shows completely free of ads. For just $5 per month, Passport offers an unrivaled collection of enriching documentaries, award-winning dramas, fascinating science and nature programs, trusted news shows, and entertaining comedies and lifestyle shows.

If you’re a PBS fan or just appreciate educational, commercial-free programming, PBS Passport is absolutely worth the minimal investment.

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