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Who pays for public TV’s national programs?

PBS expects to air $400 million worth of programs in fiscal year 2005, but just $127.5 million will flow through its budget. What’s the big picture?

In public TV's decentralized system, much of the stations' and CPB support flows through PBS, but much is raised and spent directly by producing stations and independent producers.

PBS’s latest complete figures cover an earlier year, fiscal 2003, which ended in June 2003:

Public TV stations
$113.8 million
29%
Corporations
83.4 million
22%
Foundations
62 million
16%
Private producers*
55.6 million
14%
Government: CPB
37 million
10%
Government: other**
26.5 million
7%
Individuals, others
7.7 million
2%
Total
$386 million
100%

*Risked by producers, usually recouped through sale of foreign, home video and other rights.

** Including National Endowment for Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, state governments.

Source: Figures are PBS estimates provided in April 2004.

Web page posted May 11, 2004
Current
The newspaper about public TV and radio
in the United States
Current Publishing Committee, Takoma Park, Md.
Copyright 2004

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