American Public Television (APT) is the largest syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States. APT continues to distribute a wide variety of public television programs nationally, as well as administering the Create and World channels on public TV.


Eastern Educational Television Network

APT began in 1961[1] when it was incorporated as the Eastern Educational Television Network (EEN). At first, EEN was a regional cooperative that began to exchange programs between a couple of its member stations.[2] EEN was one of the first distributors of shows such as The French Chef (with Julia Child) in 1963,[2] Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,[1] and Washington Week in Review on a national basis.

Another first from EEN was the distribution of Newsfront, America's first live and non-commercial daily news program, starting in 1970.[2] EEN introduced Wall Street Week in November 1970 before PBS began distributing it nationwide in January 1972.[citation needed] EEN also began importing BBC and CBC productions to America in 1974, with Monty Python's Flying Circus as one of them. In 1978, the EEN started the Free Library.[2]

In 1980, Eastern Educational started the Syndication Service and was renamed Interregional Program Service (IPS). IPS started the Premium Service in 1989. The organization became American Program Service in 1992.[2]

American Public Television

American Program Service was renamed American Public Television (APT) in 1999. Also, with many fax requests from international outlets, an international division called APT Worldwide was started.[2]

With the digital rollout, APT became the distributor of a couple of multicast networks. In January 2006, APT started distributing Create.[3] The nonprofit company started distributing World on July 1, 2009.[4]

Programming services

  • APT Exchange (originally the Free Library) was a service in which the company acts a clearing house for pre-funded programs that are offered free of charge to stations started in 1978. Travels in Europe with Rick Steves (starting in 1990), Globe Trekker and America's Test Kitchen are offered through this service.[2]
  • APT Worldwide is the corporation's international sales division even representing some A&E and Discovery programs. Amongst its network clients are Discovery, National Geographic Channel, NHK, ITV and Italy's RAI-SAT[2]
  • Premium Service provides programming for stations via outsourcing or acquisition prime time pledge drive programs particularly performance or self-help shows, which would either trigger a pledge call or a DVD purchased for the viewer's use or as a gift. One of its earliest successful show was the first Three Tenors.
  • Syndication is a service in which completed programs are acquired. Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World, purchased in 2002, was a top hit through this service along with the BBC's Battlefield Britain series.[2]


APT also owns two digital subchannel networks together with WGBH, WNET.ORG, and NETA:[2]

  • Create, which offers primarily crafts and travel programming from the APT library.[2] Established in January 2006, many of Create's affiliates are digital stations of PBS, and Create is also carried on cable through local agreements with public television stations. Shows regularly carried on Create include Lidia's Italy, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Joy of Painting and America's Test Kitchen.
  • World Channel, a 24-hour digital channel showing public TV non-fiction, science, nature, news, public affairs and documentaries.[2]


APT distributes more than 300 new program titles per year,[1] including documentaries, talk shows, dramatic and comedic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies. Shows currently or previously distributed by APT include, but are not limited to, The Open Mind, Rick Steves' Europe, Painting the Town with Eric Dowdle, Simply Ming, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated and its sister series Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen, Yan Can Cook, The Big Comfy Couch, Net Cafe, Computer Chronicles, Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose, Globe Trekker (aka Pilot Guides in other countries), Doc Martin, Rudy Maxa's World, Sara's Weeknight Meals and Scully: The World Show. APT distributes weeknight international news series BBC World News and Newsline from NHK, as well as the business news program Nightly Business Report.

APT has also distributed special pledge shows to public television, including programs such as Liza's at the Palace...!, Anne of Green Gables, Carreras Domingo Pavarotti, Celine Dion: A New Day, Mike Douglas – Moments & Memories, Broadway: The Golden Age and Tony Bennett Duets: The Making of an American Classic.

In 2001, APT was the first company to bring a high-definition series to public television with the premiere of Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa.

APT carries more than ten thousand hours of ground breaking television.

Children's or family programming


  1. ^ a b c Block, Alex Ben (November 9, 2014). "American Public Television Sheds Its 'Mister Rogers' Past". The Hollywood Reporter (November 2014). Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Androich, Alicia (January 1, 2011). "Growing up in public". Real Screen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Retrieved March 30, 2016. (sidebar) American Public Television announces launch of national Create channel, January 2006. 
  4. ^ "About". aptonline.org. America Public Television. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016. 

External links