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
Launched2005 (select cities)
2007 (nationwide)
Owned by
Picture format480i (SDTV)
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
10.4WBIQBirmingham, Alabama
41.4WIIQDemopolis, Alabama
2.4WDIQDozier, Alabama
36.4WFIQFlorence, Alabama
25.4WHIQHuntsville, Alabama
43.4WGIQLouisville, Alabama
42.4WEIQMobile, Alabama
26.4WAIQMontgomery, Alabama
7.4WCIQMount Cheaha, Alabama
9.2KUAC-TVFairbanks, Alaska
9.4KETGArkadelphia, Arkansas
12.4KETZEl Dorado, Arkansas
13.4KAFTFayetteville, Arkansas
19.4KTEJJonesboro, Arkansas
2.4KETSLittle Rock, Arkansas
6.4KEMVMountain View, Arkansas
8.3KAETPhoenix, Arizona
6.3KUAT-TVTucson, Arizona
13.2KEETEureka, California
18.4KVPTFresno, California
50.4KOCE-TVHuntington Beach, California
9.3KIXE-TVRedding, California
6.3KVIESacramento, California
15.2KPBSSan Diego, California
9.3KQEDSan Francisco, California
25.3KQETWatsonville, California
54.3KQEHSan Jose, California
30.2WGCUFort Myers, Florida
5.3WUFTGainesville, Florida
7.3WJCTJacksonville, Florida
24.5WUCF-TVOrlando, Florida
23.2WSREPensacola, Florida
3.3WEDUTampa, Florida
42.2WXEL-TVWest Palm Beach, Florida
8.3WGTVAthens/Atlanta, Georgia
18.3WNGH-TVChatsworth, Georgia
29.3WMUM-TVCochran, Georgia
28.3WJSP-TVColumbus, Georgia
25.3WACS-TVDawson, Georgia
14.3WABW-TVPelham, Georgia
9.3WVAN-TVSavannah, Georgia
8.3WXGA-TVWaycross, Georgia
20.3WCES-TVWrens, Georgia
4.4KAIDBoise, Idaho
26.4KCDTCoeur d'Alene, Idaho
12.4KUID-TVMoscow, Idaho
10.4KISU-TVPocatello, Idaho
13.4KIPTTwin Falls, Idaho
8.2WSIU-TVCarbondale, Illinois
11.3WTTWChicago, Illinois
14.2WSECJacksonville, Illinois
22.2WMECMacomb, Illinois
19.2WUSI-TVOlney, Illinois
47.3WTVPPeoria, Illinois (pending)
27.2WQECQuincy, Illinois
12.3WILL-TVUrbana, Illinois
30.2WTIUBloomington, Indiana
3.3KBIN-TVCouncil Bluffs, Iowa
36.3KQINDavenport, Iowa
11.3KDIN-TVDes Moines, Iowa
21.3KTINFort Dodge, Iowa
12.3KIINIowa City, Iowa
24.3KYINMason City, Iowa
36.3KHINRed Oak, Iowa
27.3KSIN-TVSioux City, Iowa
32.3KRINWaterloo, Iowa
68.3WKMJ-TVLouisville, Kentucky
12.2WYES-TVNew Orleans, Louisiana
2.2WGBH-TVBoston, Massachusetts
57.2WGBY-TVSpringfield, Massachusetts
10.3WCBBAugusta, Maine
26.3WMEA-TVBiddeford, Maine
13.3WMED-TVCalais, Maine
12.3WMEB-TVOrono, Maine
10.3WMEM-TVPresque Isle, Maine
56.4WTVSDetroit, Michigan
23.2WKAR-TVEast Lansing, Michigan
10.4KWCM-TVAppleton, Minnesota
16.2KCGE-DTCrookston, Minnesota
8.2WDSEDuluth, Minnesota
31.2WRPTHibbing, Minnesota
20.4KSMNWorthington, Minnesota
9.3KETCSt. Louis, Missouri
16.4KBGS-TVBillings, Montana
9.4KUSM-TVBozeman, Montana
45.2K45CH-DFort Peck, Montana
10.4KUHM-TVHelena, Montana
46.4KUKL-TVKalispell, Montana
11.4KUFM-TVMissoula, Montana
13.2KTNE-TVAlliance, Nebraska
7.2KMNE-TVBassett, Nebraska
29.2KHNE-TVHastings, Nebraska
3.2KLNE-TVLexington, Nebraska
12.2KUON-TVLincoln, Nebraska
12.2KRNE-TVMerriman, Nebraska
19.2KXNE-TVNorfolk, Nebraska
9.2KPNE-TVNorth Platte, Nebraska
26.2KYNE-TVOmaha, Nebraska
11.3WENH-TVDurham, New Hampshire
9.1KNMD-TVAlbuquerque, New Mexico
46.4WSKG-TVBinghamton, New York
30.4WSKACorning, New York
21.3WLIWGarden City, New York
18.3WNPI-DTNorwood, New York
21.2WXXI-TVRochester, New York
17.3WMHTSchenectady, New York
16.3WPBS-DTWatertown, New York
3.2KBME-TVBismarck, North Dakota
25.2KMDEDevils Lake, North Dakota
9.2KDSEDickinson, North Dakota
19.2KJREEllendale, North Dakota
13.2KFMEFargo, North Dakota
6.2KSREMinot, North Dakota
4.2KWSEWilliston, North Dakota
44.3WOUC-TVCambridge, Ohio
25.3WVIZCleveland, Ohio
13.2KETA-TVOklahoma City, Oklahoma
3.2KOETEufaula, Oklahoma
11.2KOED-TVTulsa, Oklahoma
12.2KWET-TVCheyenne, Oklahoma
22.2KFTSKlamath Falls, Oregon
8.2KSYSMedford, Oregon
35.2WPPTAllentown, Pennsylvania
3.3WPSU-TVClearfield, Pennsylvania
54.3WQLNErie, Pennsylvania
13.3WQEDPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16.2KDSD-TVAberdeen, South Dakota
8.2KESD-TVBrookings, South Dakota
13.2KPSD-TVEagle Butte, South Dakota
11.2KQSD-TVLowry, South Dakota
8.2KZSD-TVMartin, South Dakota
10.2KTSD-TVPierre, South Dakota
9.2KBHE-TVRapid City, South Dakota
23.2KCSD-TVSioux Falls, South Dakota
2.2KUSD-TVVermillion, South Dakota
22.2WCTECookeville, Tennessee
8.4KUHTHouston, Texas
9.2KLRNSan Antonio, Texas
7.2KUEDSalt Lake City, Utah
18.2KUEWSt. George, Utah
15.2WHRO-TVHampton-Norfolk, Virginia
15.2WBRA-TVRoanoke, Virginia
33.2WETKBurlington, Vermont
28.2WVERRutland, Vermont
20.2WVTBSt. Johnsbury, Vermont
41.2WVTAWindsor, Vermont
9.4KCTS-TVSeattle, Washington
7.2KSPS-TVSpokane, Washington
10.2WMVSMilwaukee, Wisconsin
9.2WSWP-TVGrandview, West Virginia
33.2WVPB-TVHuntington, West Virginia
24.2WNPB-TVMorgantown, West Virginia


  1. "Knight Foundation backs launch planning for PBS's Public Square". Current. December 19, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  2. "Hearst TV exec to head World channel". Current. American University School of Communication. September 20, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  3. Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  4. June-Friesen, Katy (March 2, 2009). "Packaged channels for multicasting, 2009". Current. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  5. Dru Sefton (September 8, 2009). "Overhaul of public TV's World channel, 2009". Current. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  6. "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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