World (TV channel)

World Channel (formerly PBS World) is an American digital multicast public television network owned and operated by WGBH. It is distributed by American Public Television and the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and features factual programming covering topics such as science, nature, news, and public affairs. Programming is supplied by the entities, as well as other partners such as WNET and WGBH. It is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of PBS member stations.

World Channel
LaunchedNew York City & Boston: 2005
Nationwide: 2007
Owned by
SloganBrave. New. Real.
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
Sister channel(s)Create
WebsiteOfficial website
Digital terrestrial televisionChannel slots vary on each city
Available on some cable systemsChannel slots vary on each provider


In 2004, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation granted PBS funds to develop a public affairs network, Public Square, given the change in broadcasting to digital thus allowing stations to broadcast multiple channels. (Public Square was also a name previous given to a proposed civic series in early 2000s.) The Knight Foundation announced a challenge grant to PBS to launch this network on December 14, 2004 at the Digital Futures Initiative Summit. PBS would have to raise double the grant amount to get the foundation's grant. Additional, the foundation made a grant to PBS for the first program's pilot slated for the network. The program, Global Watch, was to be co-produced by KCET and KQED. The pilot aired on PBS' National Program Service, while the series would only continue on Public Square. PBS was also discussing with WGBH and WNET to fold Public Square and World together.[1]


WGBH and WNET were developing World in 2004.[2] By December 2005, Boston's WGBH and WNET were already broadcasting World on a subchannel[1] and added by April 2006, Washington's WETA. San Francisco's KQED were already broadcasting its own nonfiction encore channel before April 2005, too. Then, WGBH and WNET team up with PBS to roll out a national version of the local channels as World with KQED continuing on its own. The stations are supposed to program and PBS distributing the network. Public Square was expected to exist as a two to three hours long hosted weeknight programming block on the channel. The network was launched nationally on August 15, 2007.[3] For the first year, the Ford Foundation granted some funds to cover cost while PBS was contributing some funding from it revenue-generating activities. As of March 2009, there was no national underwriter for the network as one had not been pursued as the network lacked enough coverage to land one.[4] On July 1, 2009, PBS withdrew from the channel. By September 2009, ITVS's Global Voices was the only original program for the network.[5]

An overhaul of the network was in the work as of September 8, 2009.[5] CPB agreed to fund R&D for the relaunch and cover cost so stations would not have to pay the license until June 2011. The network was relaunched in July 2010 with the revamped website slate for July 1 with more of a roll out. The relaunch is also draw in the stations as digital tier channel are more likely to be pick up by cable subscribers, Nielsen rating are small but improving and to use more of the channel width as to avoid any FCC reduction of the width. The relaunch service, seen more as a multimedia outlet than just a TV channel, was planned to target a more diverse color audience with a median age of 36. The revamp World would have a monthly theme for coherence and personality to create online action and buzz. The channel started to reach out to more sources, reviewing archives, film festivals, indie producer hubs (like Bay Area Video Coalition), public radio, Independent Television Service, Link TV, MiND TV, Minority Consortia, New American Media, the Sundance Institute and Youth Media International. With little funding for programs, the channel is using a new low-cost collaborative model by offering distribution, while producers would have to drum up funding.[6] In September 2011, a new general manager, Elizabeth Cheng, for the network was hired.[2]

United States budget sequestration in 2013 caused a cut in Corporation for Public Broadcasting's budget. The CPB then used some fund ($750,000) formerly earmarked for the National Minority Consortia towards the World network.[7]


The network is available to stations that are member of APT and NETA (formerly available to PBS's National Program Service subscribers and PBS Plus members). Affiliation fees of 4 levels from $5,500 to $32,000 a year which only cover 50% of the channel's cost. Stations are required to broadcast half of the network's broadcast day in order to retain their affiliation, thus many member stations with limited channel capacity usually carry the network in a 50/50 split with Create (as both networks maintain looping schedules). Cost are kept down as the channel uses rights and content previously available. Programming has come from PBS, NETA, APT and ITVS International.[4]


World shows a core three-hour documentary block four times a day with other programs circulate in the other 12 hours. This gives viewers increased chances to see a program, which might be shown from 4 to 8 times a week.[6]

Current programming

Stations may also choose to place their own programming, such as local government hearings and events, on their subchannel at local discretion.

Public Square programming block[3]
  • Global Watch[1]


World is carried by the following stations:[8]

Channel Station City
10.4 WBIQ Birmingham, Alabama
41.4 WIIQ Demopolis, Alabama
2.4 WDIQ Dozier, Alabama
36.4 WFIQ Florence, Alabama
25.4 WHIQ Huntsville, Alabama
43.4 WGIQ Louisville, Alabama
42.4 WEIQ Mobile, Alabama
26.4 WAIQ Montgomery, Alabama
7.4 WCIQ Mount Cheaha, Alabama
9.2 KUAC-TV Fairbanks, Alaska
9.4 KETG Arkadelphia, Arkansas
12.4 KETZ El Dorado, Arkansas
13.4 KAFT Fayetteville, Arkansas
19.4 KTEJ Jonesboro, Arkansas
2.4 KETS Little Rock, Arkansas
6.4 KEMV Mountain View, Arkansas
8.3 KAET Phoenix, Arizona
6.3 KUAT-TV Tucson, Arizona
13.2 KEET Eureka, California
18.4 KVPT Fresno, California
50.4 KOCE-TV Huntington Beach, California
9.3 KIXE-TV Redding, California
6.3 KVIE Sacramento, California
15.2 KPBS San Diego, California
9.3 KQED San Francisco, California
25.3 KQET Watsonville, California
54.3 KQEH San Jose, California
30.2 WGCU Fort Myers, Florida
5.3 WUFT Gainesville, Florida
7.3 WJCT Jacksonville, Florida
24.5 WUCF-TV Orlando, Florida
23.2 WSRE Pensacola, Florida
3.3 WEDU Tampa, Florida
42.2 WXEL-TV West Palm Beach, Florida
8.3 WGTV Athens/Atlanta, Georgia
18.3 WNGH-TV Chatsworth, Georgia
29.3 WMUM-TV Cochran, Georgia
28.3 WJSP-TV Columbus, Georgia
25.3 WACS-TV Dawson, Georgia
14.3 WABW-TV Pelham, Georgia
9.3 WVAN-TV Savannah, Georgia
8.3 WXGA-TV Waycross, Georgia
20.3 WCES-TV Wrens, Georgia
4.4 KAID Boise, Idaho
26.4 KCDT Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
12.4 KUID-TV Moscow, Idaho
10.4 KISU-TV Pocatello, Idaho
13.4 KIPT Twin Falls, Idaho
8.2 WSIU-TV Carbondale, Illinois
11.3 WTTW Chicago, Illinois
14.2 WSEC Jacksonville, Illinois
22.2 WMEC Macomb, Illinois
19.2 WUSI-TV Olney, Illinois
47.3 WTVP Peoria, Illinois (pending)
27.2 WQEC Quincy, Illinois
12.3 WILL-TV Urbana, Illinois
30.2 WTIU Bloomington, Indiana
3.3 KBIN-TV Council Bluffs, Iowa
36.3 KQIN Davenport, Iowa
11.3 KDIN-TV Des Moines, Iowa
21.3 KTIN Fort Dodge, Iowa
12.3 KIIN Iowa City, Iowa
24.3 KYIN Mason City, Iowa
36.3 KHIN Red Oak, Iowa
27.3 KSIN-TV Sioux City, Iowa
32.3 KRIN Waterloo, Iowa
68.3 WKMJ-TV Louisville, Kentucky
12.2 WYES-TV New Orleans, Louisiana
2.2 WGBH-TV Boston, Massachusetts
57.2 WGBY-TV Springfield, Massachusetts
10.3 WCBB Augusta, Maine
26.3 WMEA-TV Biddeford, Maine
13.3 WMED-TV Calais, Maine
12.3 WMEB-TV Orono, Maine
10.3 WMEM-TV Presque Isle, Maine
56.4 WTVS Detroit, Michigan
23.2 WKAR-TV East Lansing, Michigan
10.4 KWCM-TV Appleton, Minnesota
16.2 KCGE-DT Crookston, Minnesota
8.2 WDSE Duluth, Minnesota
31.2 WRPT Hibbing, Minnesota
20.4 KSMN Worthington, Minnesota
9.3 KETC St. Louis, Missouri
16.4 KBGS-TV Billings, Montana
9.4 KUSM-TV Bozeman, Montana
45.2 K45CH-D Fort Peck, Montana
10.4 KUHM-TV Helena, Montana
46.4 KUKL-TV Kalispell, Montana
11.4 KUFM-TV Missoula, Montana
13.2 KTNE-TV Alliance, Nebraska
7.2 KMNE-TV Bassett, Nebraska
29.2 KHNE-TV Hastings, Nebraska
3.2 KLNE-TV Lexington, Nebraska
12.2 KUON-TV Lincoln, Nebraska
12.2 KRNE-TV Merriman, Nebraska
19.2 KXNE-TV Norfolk, Nebraska
9.2 KPNE-TV North Platte, Nebraska
26.2 KYNE-TV Omaha, Nebraska
11.3 WENH-TV Durham, New Hampshire
9.1 KNMD-TV Albuquerque, New Mexico
46.4 WSKG-TV Binghamton, New York
30.4 WSKA Corning, New York
21.3 WLIW Garden City, New York
18.3 WNPI-DT Norwood, New York
21.2 WXXI-TV Rochester, New York
17.3 WMHT Schenectady, New York
16.3 WPBS-DT Watertown, New York
3.2 KBME-TV Bismarck, North Dakota
25.2 KMDE Devils Lake, North Dakota
9.2 KDSE Dickinson, North Dakota
19.2 KJRE Ellendale, North Dakota
13.2 KFME Fargo, North Dakota
6.2 KSRE Minot, North Dakota
4.2 KWSE Williston, North Dakota
44.3 WOUC-TV Cambridge, Ohio
25.3 WVIZ Cleveland, Ohio
13.2 KETA-TV Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3.2 KOET Eufaula, Oklahoma
11.2 KOED-TV Tulsa, Oklahoma
12.2 KWET-TV Cheyenne, Oklahoma
22.2 KFTS Klamath Falls, Oregon
8.2 KSYS Medford, Oregon
35.2 WPPT-TV Allentown, Pennsylvania
3.3 WPSU-TV Clearfield, Pennsylvania
54.3 WQLN Erie, Pennsylvania
13.3 WQED Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16.2 KDSD-TV Aberdeen, South Dakota
8.2 KESD-TV Brookings, South Dakota
13.2 KPSD-TV Eagle Butte, South Dakota
11.2 KQSD-TV Lowry, South Dakota
8.2 KZSD-TV Martin, South Dakota
10.2 KTSD-TV Pierre, South Dakota
9.2 KBHE-TV Rapid City, South Dakota
23.2 KCSD-TV Sioux Falls, South Dakota
2.2 KUSD-TV Vermillion, South Dakota
22.2 WCTE Cookeville, Tennessee
8.4 KUHT Houston, Texas
9.2 KLRN San Antonio, Texas
7.2 KUED Salt Lake City, Utah
18.2 KUEW St. George, Utah
15.2 WHRO-TV Hampton-Norfolk, Virginia
15.2 WBRA-TV Roanoke, Virginia
33.2 WETK Burlington, Vermont
28.2 WVER Rutland, Vermont
20.2 WVTB St. Johnsbury, Vermont
41.2 WVTA Windsor, Vermont
9.4 KCTS-TV Seattle, Washington
7.2 KSPS-TV Spokane, Washington
10.2 WMVS Milwaukee, Wisconsin
9.2 WSWP-TV Grandview, West Virginia
33.2 WVPB-TV Huntington, West Virginia
24.2 WNPB-TV Morgantown, West Virginia


  1. ^ a b c "Knight Foundation backs launch planning for PBS's Public Square". Current. December 19, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Hearst TV exec to head World channel". Current. American University School of Communication. September 20, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  4. ^ a b June-Friesen, Katy (March 2, 2009). "Packaged channels for multicasting, 2009". Current. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Dru Sefton (September 8, 2009). "Overhaul of public TV's World channel, 2009". Current. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Relaunch of pubTV's World multicast channel, 2010". Current. 20 July 2010. Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Sefton, Dru (June 24, 2013). "CPB reduces aid to longtime grantees". Current. American University School of Communication. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Stations for Network - World Channel". Retrieved January 18, 2017.

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