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PBS NEGOTIATING TO REAP FROM `BARNEY' MERCHANDISE

Published: Saturday, Oct. 30 1993 12:00 a.m. MDT

The Public Broadcasting Service is negotiating to participate in merchandising and licensing fees for its hugely successful "Barney & Friends."

PBS and Lyons Group, producers of shows involving the singing purple dinosaur, have been discussing what benefit public television should receive for merchandising, according to Peter Downey, senior vice president for program business affairs for PBS.Merchandising from "Barney" has been estimated at $500 million annually. Downey said PBS receives income from the sales of programs and music, but only after Lyons Group recoups its investment.

PBS has come in for criticism for failing to sufficiently capitalize on its hit shows, including "Barney," "Sesame Street" and series by Bill Moyers.

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