Vermont PBS

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Vermont PBS
statewide Vermont
United States
Slogan Educate, inform, entertain and inspire
Channels Digital: see table below
Subchannels xx.1 PBS
xx.2 PBS Plus
xx.3 Create
xx.4 PBS Kids
Affiliations PBS (1970–present)
Owner Vermont ETV, Inc.
(original owner: University of Vermont)
First air date October 16, 1967 (51 years ago) (1967-10-16)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1967–1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Logo as Vermont Public Television, 1997 - May 2014

Vermont PBS (VPBS) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for the U.S. state of Vermont. It is owned by Vermont ETV, Inc. a community-based nonprofit corporation that owns the licenses for all PBS member stations licensed in the state. Originally owned and operated by the University of Vermont, the network has been operating since October 16, 1967. In the late 1970s, UVM sold the network to Vermont ETV. Until 1997, it was known as Vermont Educational Television, or Vermont ETV (which is still the station's corporate name). Between 1997 and May 2014, it was known as Vermont Public Television or VPT.

VPBS' studios and offices are located in Colchester, near Burlington.

VPBS stations

Station City of license Channels
First air date Call letters' meaning ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Public license information
WETK Burlington 33 (PSIP)
32 (UHF)
October 16, 1967 (51 years ago) (1967-10-16) Educational
90 kW 830 m (2,723 ft) 69944 44°31′32″N 72°48′51″W / 44.52556°N 72.81417°W / 44.52556; -72.81417 (WETK) Profile
WVER Rutland 28 (PSIP)
9 (VHF)
(to move to 10 (VHF))
March 18, 1968 (50 years ago) (1968-03-18) VERmont or Vermont Educational Rutland 15 kW 385 m (1,263 ft) 69946 43°39′31″N 73°6′25″W / 43.65861°N 73.10694°W / 43.65861; -73.10694 (WVER) Profile
WVTB St. Johnsbury 20 (PSIP)
18 (UHF)
(to move to 28 (UHF))
February 26, 1968 (50 years ago) (1968-02-26) VT = postal abbreviation of Vermont
B for Burke Mtn. transmitter site
75 kW 590 m (1,936 ft) 69940 44°34′16″N 71°53′39″W / 44.57111°N 71.89417°W / 44.57111; -71.89417 (WVTB) Profile
WVTA Windsor 41 (PSIP)
24 (UHF)
(to share with WVER)
March 18, 1968 (50 years ago) (1968-03-18) VT = postal abbreviation of Vermont
A for Ascutney Mtn. transmitter site
55.7 kW 692 m (2,270 ft) 69943 43°26′14.7″N 72°27′7.7″W / 43.437417°N 72.452139°W / 43.437417; -72.452139 (WVTA) Profile

VPBS was also relayed on analog translators W36AX in Manchester and W53AS in Bennington, which directly repeated WVER. These translators were used to feed cable systems on the Vermont side of the Albany/Schenectady/Troy, New York market. The translators' licenses were cancelled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 28, 2011. However, WVER remains on most cable systems in southwestern Vermont.

On February 17, 2017, VPBS announced that it had sold the WVTA broadcast license for $56 million in the FCC's spectrum auction. In a statement, the network said that its other signals would be upgraded to cover the area served by WVTA.[1][2]

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3][4][5][6]
xx.1 1080i 16:9 VPBS Main VPBS programming / PBS
xx.2 VPBS+ PBS Plus/World
xx.3 480i 16:9 CREATE Create
xx.4 KIDS PBS Kids

Analog-to-digital conversion

VPBS' stations shut down their analog signals on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009).[7][8][9]

Each station's post-transition digital allocations are as follows. All stations remained on its pre-transition digital channels. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers map to its analog channel position as its virtual channel:

Call Sign Analog Channel Digital Channel PSIP / virtual channel
WETK 33 32 33
WVER 28 9 28
WVTB 20 18 20
WVTA 41 24 41


In terms of market and population size, Vermont PBS is the smallest PBS member in New England, and one of the smallest in the entire PBS system. Most of its viewership lives in Canada, principally in Montreal, Quebec, a city which is ten times larger than the entire population of VPBS's American viewing area. This is a similar comparison with WPBS-DT in Watertown, New York; most of its audience lives near Ottawa, Ontario. It relies heavily on its Canadian viewership for its survival; most of the major stations in Vermont have lessened their reliance on Canadian revenue in recent years. VPBS not only takes its large Canadian audience into account in its programming, but it accepts Canadian dollars for its fundraising efforts even though most of them are targeted toward Vermont viewers. It also operates a separate fundraising arm for its Canadian members, the Public Television Association of Quebec.

As is true of Vermont's population as a whole, most of VPBS's viewership lives primarily in rural areas or in towns and small cities. The only major urban area in its service territory is Montreal.

VPBS shares much of its most valuable market (the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York as well as the southern Quebec and Montreal area) with Plattsburgh, New York-based WCFE-TV. In the Upper Connecticut Valley, VPBS competes with New Hampshire Public Television, while in Bennington and Windham counties (the only Vermont counties not in the Burlington/Plattsburgh television market), VPBS also competes with WMHT in Schenectady and WGBY-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Broadcast area

Vermont PBS's four transmitters cover almost all of Vermont and bordering regions of New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and southern Quebec, including Montreal.

On cable, VPBS can be seen on Comcast Xfinity channel 6 in Burlington and channel 7 in Bennington, Burlington Telecom channels 6 and 206 (HD), and Charter channel 3 in Plattsburgh. On Vidéotron's cable systems in Montreal, it can be seen on channel 59 in west Montreal, channel 6 in central and east Montreal, and channel 88 on Illico digital cable. WETK is also seen across nearly all of the state on the Burlington/Plattsburgh DirecTV and Dish Network feeds.

Some VPBS-produced programs also air on WGBY, whose signal reaches parts of southern Vermont.

See also


  1. ^ Hallenbeck, Brent (February 17, 2017). "Vermont PBS sells broadcast licenses for $56 million". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Frechette, Kristin (February 17, 2017). "Vermont PBS Sells off one of its Broadcast Licenses". Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WETK
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVER
  5. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVTB
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WVTA
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  8. ^ Vt. TV stations opt for early digital switch[permanent dead link]. Joel Banner Baird, Burlington Free Press; February 5, 2009
  9. ^ TV Stations Say Digital Switch Delay Will Be Costly, Curt Nickisch, National Public Radio, Morning Edition, February 3, 2009

External links

  • Vermont PBS web site
  • TV Hat : Trivial facts about Southern QC, Upstate NY and VT stations
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WETK
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WVER
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WVTA
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WVTB
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for W36AX
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for W53AS
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WETK-TV
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVER-TV
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVTA-TV
  • BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WVTB-TV
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