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About PBS - Corporate Facts
The Public Broadcasting Service: An Overview

PBS in Brief
  • A private, nonprofit corporation whose members are America's public TV stations.

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  • Founded in 1969.

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  • Provides quality TV programming and related services to 349 noncommercial stations serving all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

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  • PBS oversees program acquisition, distribution and promotion; education services; new media ventures; fundraising support; engineering and technology development; and video marketing.
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PBS Member Stations
  • 170 noncommercial, educational licensees operate 349 PBS member stations.

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  • Of the 170 licensees, 87 are community organizations, 57 are colleges/universities, 20 are state authorities and 6 are local educational or municipal authorities.
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The Public Television Audience
  • The public TV audience reflects the social and economic makeup of the nation.

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  • 70.9% of all American television-owning families - 75.7 million households representing 143.6 million people - watched public television in October 2002, with the average home tuning in for over seven and a half hours during the month.
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PBS Education Services
  • PBS Ready To Learn helps to increase school readiness for all of America's children with an unrivaled line-up of educational and entertaining children's programming each weekday, coupled with short educational video spots. The value and impact of these programs are enhanced through outreach services provided by more than 140 local PBS stations to their communities, including workshops, free children's books, a magazine and other learning resources to help parents, teachers and child-care providers prepare young children to enter school ready to learn. PBS Ready To Learn collaborates with a number of organizations at the national and local levels in the development and delivery of these services. Ready To Learn is supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

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  • The PBS Adult Learning Service, a partnership involving local PBS stations and colleges, provides college credit TV courses to nearly 500,000 students each academic year.

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  • PBS is the #1 television resource in the country for classroom programming, according to Cable in the Classroom's three national surveys of teachers and school librarians.
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PBS Programming Activities
  • The National Programming Service is the major package of programs PBS distributes to its member stations. It features television's best children's, cultural, educational, history, nature, news, public affairs, science and skills programs.

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  • Programs are obtained from PBS stations, independent producers and sources around the world. PBS does not produce programs.

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PBS Digital Leadership
  • PBS.org is not only the most visited dot-org Web site in the world, it is also the home of comprehensive companion Web sites for more than 500 PBS television programs and specials, as well as original Web content and real-time learning adventures. With hundreds of thousands of pages of content to explore, visitors to award-winning pbs.org can delve further into the subjects they most enjoy — from news to history and the arts to science and technology.

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  • PBS member stations are digital television leaders, from groundbreaking work in interactive TV and a monthly schedule of original high-definition programming to the PBS KIDS Channel and PBS YOU multicast services.
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Public TV Funding
  • Public TV's total national, regional and local revenue in FY00 totaled $1.6 billion, according to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Leading sources of revenue: members (23.5%); state governments (18.3%); CPB and federal grants/contracts (16.4%); businesses (16.1%); state colleges and universities (6.5%); and foundations (5.5%).

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  • 4.5 million individuals and families contributed $380 million to public TV in FY00.
PBS Budget
  • PBS' operating revenue has grown from $262 million in FY98 to a projected $324 million in FY03, a 24% increase in just five years, largely from non-member revenue sources.

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  • This revenue growth has enabled PBS to invest more in three key areas: national programming, advertising and promotion, and PBS.org.

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