PBS today DOES have commercials. Don't let them tell you different. Every program is now sponsored by several companies or "made possible by" and then there is a "commercial" for said companies, or organizations.
This did not used to be the case. Also, the pledge drives tend to go on "all year" now, or a lot more now than they did years ago. Every time a pledge drive starts, our local PBS breaks out the "cooler" shows or special shows to "lure" newbies in making us; the ones' who donate our money like clockwork, even more angry and annoyed.
Aside from some politics, and the misnomer that PBS is commercial free; it is a station that is a part of all of us, and sadly isn't watched by more of us.
"What? WHY are they interrupting Nova for a 'break' to remind us and ask us for more money? Didn't they just have a pledge drive two months ago?"
"Awesome 'Grateful Dead' concert from 1975 was on PBS last night, too bad they ruined it with three "station breaks" to ask for more money, and they only show programs like this when it's time to ask for more money."
Has been the subject of political conflict whenever special advertising interests lobby elected officials into trying to hand the radio/television wave space to commercial television.
Oh yeah, Barney is broadcast for a half hour on weekday afternoons so die public television die.
Roommate 2: PBS time
Roommate 1: Go for it man
Roommate 2: I'm glad I live in a PBS judgement free apartment