Vermont PBS

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Vermont PBS
statewide Vermont
United States
SloganEducate, inform, entertain and inspire
ChannelsDigital: see table below
Subchannelsxx.1 PBS
xx.2 PBS Plus
xx.3 Create
xx.4 PBS Kids
AffiliationsPBS (1970–present)
OwnerVermont ETV, Inc.
First air dateOctober 16, 1967 (52 years ago) (1967-10-16)
Call sign meaningsee table below
Former affiliationsNET (1967–1970)
Transmitter powersee table below
Heightsee table below
Facility IDsee table below
Transmitter coordinatessee table below

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[edit]

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 (52 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)
(shared with WVTA; to move to 10 (VHF))
March 18, 1968 (52 years ago) (1968-03-18) VERmont or Vermont Educational Rutland 15 kW
56 kW (DTS1 CP)
0.1 kW (DTS2 CP)
0.3 kW (DTS3 CP)
0.4 kW (DTS4 CP)
0.1 kW (DTS5 CP)
385 m (1,263 ft)
425.2 m (1,395 ft) (DTS1 CP)
648.9 m (2,129 ft) (DTS2 CP)
357.6 m (1,173 ft) (DTS3 CP)
−142.9 m (−469 ft) (DTS4 CP)
204.3 m (670 ft) (DTS5 CP)
69946 43°39′31″N 73°6′25″W / 43.65861°N 73.10694°W / 43.65861; -73.10694 (WVER)
43°39′31″N 73°6′25″W / 43.65861°N 73.10694°W / 43.65861; -73.10694 (DTS1 CP)
43°26′15″N 72°27′6″W / 43.43750°N 72.45167°W / 43.43750; -72.45167 (DTS2 CP)
42°51′49.8″N 73°13′57.1″W / 42.863833°N 73.232528°W / 42.863833; -73.232528 (DTS3 CP)
42°51′6.1″N 72°33′38.8″W / 42.851694°N 72.560778°W / 42.851694; -72.560778 (DTS4 CP)
44°7′28.7″N 72°28′52.2″W / 44.124639°N 72.481167°W / 44.124639; -72.481167 (DTS5 CP)
WVTB St. Johnsbury 20 (PSIP)
28 (UHF)
February 26, 1968 (52 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)
9 (VHF)
(shared with WVER; to move to 10 (VHF))
March 18, 1968 (52 years ago) (1968-03-18) VT = postal abbreviation of Vermont
A for Ascutney Mtn. transmitter site
see WVER see WVER 69943 see WVER 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 AlbanySchenectadyTroy, 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[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The stations' digital signals are 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 CREATE Create
xx.4 KIDS PBS Kids

Network translator stations[edit]

A translator network also serves portions of the state where over-the-air reception for a full-power station is hindered by area topography, and to fill in holes between full-power stations. All of the listed translators are owned by Vermont ETV, and flash-cut from analog to digital on February 17, 2009, including adding the subchannel services. Each translator has its virtual channel mapped via PSIP to the channel number of the closest full-power station to the translator.

Call sign Location Translator

WVTA-DT Brattleboro 28 WVTA 41
WVTA-DT Williamstown 28 WVTA 41
W30DM-D Manchester 30 WVER 28
W46EW-D Pownal 46 WVER 28

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

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] As part of the SAFER Act,[10][11] the stations, as rarities for members of PBS, kept their analog signals on the air until April 18 to inform viewers of the digital television transition.[12]

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 28 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' American viewing area. This is a similar comparison with WPBS-TV in Watertown, New York; most of its audience lives near Ottawa, Ontario. It relies heavily on its Canadian viewership for its survival, even as most of Vermont's major commercial stations have lessened their dependence 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' 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 core 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[edit]

Vermont PBS' 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 Spectrum channel 3 in Plattsburgh and channel 17 in Glens Falls and Queensbury. 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.


Logo as Vermont Public Television, 1997 - May 2014

See also[edit]


  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
  10. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  11. ^ Appendix B All Full Power Station By DMA, Indicating Those Terminating Analog service On Or Before February 17, 2009
  12. ^

External links[edit]