In 2009, APT started looking for a national network underwriter, while seven stations had found local underwriters that covered their network fees. Ten stations at this time were inserting local programming.
With rating data becoming available with more experience handling multicast channels and greater licensing fees, some public TV stations were changing their channel lineup. Some were dropping a network off a channel and programming it independently. A well known station, WETA, dropped Create on its .2 channel for an independent how-to channel in January 2012. The previous lack of audience data stymied efforts to find a national underwriter. In 2012, APT started planning for more original and exclusive programming. A March national pledge event, a recent new funding source for Create, with travel host Rick Steves, took in at a top 20 market about $40,000. Licensing fees were to be reinstated on July 1, 2012.
American Public Television (APT), WGBH and WNET operate the network. APT handles affiliate relations, distribution, marketing and underwriting, and producer and viewer relations. A joint team creates the schedule with all working together on strategic and business planning. WNET produces promos and spots for the network and provides master control services.
It is distributed through digital subchannel affiliations with public television stations that are members of or subscribe to APT Exchange, NETA and PBS Plus. Stations' licensing fees fall into one of five price tiers based on budget, market and station size. Shop Create webstore also generates income for the network.
The network's programming is scheduled in two 12-hour blocks; local affiliates may insert local programming up to two hours per block. For example, WTTW in Chicago airs Check, Please!, a locally produced restaurant review series, while Nebraska Educational Television shows Backyard Farmer on the network. Create's program schedule relies on the library of instructional and lifestyle programs distributed by network owner American Public Television (07%), PBS Plus and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Programmed series are arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, home improvement, travel and other lifestyle programs. The series' acquisition cost is covered by the stations' members and subscriptions.
Create primarily airs cooking programs (such as Lidia's Italy, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, Sara's Weeknight Meals, and America's Test Kitchen and its spin-off Cook's Country), which make up much of the network's morning, primetime and overnight schedules. It also carries various home improvement, gardening and arts and crafts programs (such as Hometime, Sewing with Nancy and This Old House), along with select travel-oriented series (such as Globe Trekker and Rick Steves' Europe).