History


Milestones

As public television’s longest-running program distributor, APT’s pioneering roots extend to the early days of public television, pre-dating the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) by eight years. Incorporated in 1961 as the Eastern Educational Television Network (EEN), we provided public television’s first interstate interconnection and were the first to distribute such public television staples as The French Chef, hosted by the iconic Julia Child, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Washington Week in Review. We first brought professional tennis to television in 1963 with Tennis from Longwood and introduced Monty Python’s Flying Circus to American audiences in 1974.

In 1991, APT presented the original “Three Tenors” performance special — Carreras Domingo Pavarotti in Concert — one which continues to garner rave reviews 30 years after its initial release.

In 1999, we launched APT Worldwide, our international licensing division responsible for providing high-quality, innovative, non-fiction programming to the global marketplace. APT Worldwide's program catalog includes documentary, lifestyle, science, health, arts, culture, business, history, performance and music.

And, in 2001, APT offered the first high-definition series on public television, Smart Travels — Europe with Rudy Maxa.


APT Today

An industry leader, APT distributes programming to the more than 350 local public television stations across the United States. Working with public-media leaders and producers across the country, we continue to seek strong content to complement both locally and nationally produced programs.

Our diverse catalog — representing nearly 4,000 hours of programming — provides stations with the flexibility to customize their broadcast schedules to meet local interests and demands. Each year, APT offers public television station programmers nearly 300 new and returning series and specials through a mix of teleconferences (fed via satellite and streamed on our website) and an on-site screenings at its annual Fall Marketplace meeting.

APT’s website, APTonline.org, provides valuable information and resources to a variety of users: public television colleagues, program producers, members of the press and viewers. In 2011, we met the demand for more information by re-launching our website and adding new features, including streaming video, password-protected sections and enhanced search capabilities.

APT counts among its talent some of public television’s most recognizable faces, the hosts viewers know and trust — including Rick Steves, Lidia Bastianich, Christopher Kimball, Steven Raichlen, Rick Bayless, Ming Tsai, P. Allen Smith and many, many others.

With a staff of about 30 people, APT continues to hold an important position as the second-largest distributor of programming to public television stations across the country.

Multicast Channels

In 2006, APT launched the national Create® TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. On any given day, Create treats home-improvement buffs to This Old House and Rough Cut — Woodworking with Tommy Mac. Food fans will feast on Lidia's Italy in America, Mexico - One Plate at a Time With Rick Bayless and Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way. Wandering souls will find themselves captivated by Globe Trekker and Richard Bangs’ Adventures With Purpose. Budding artists and crafters will appreciate The Best of the Joy of Painting and Knit & Crochet Now. Create is produced and distributed by APT, WNET and WGBH Boston in association with NETA and PBS. For more information, visit www.CreateTV.com.

In 2007, the same team involved in Create® TV launched the public affairs and documentary channel WORLD℠. Thanks to funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the channel underwent a major transformation, expanding to a multi-platform offering. The WORLD service now includes a television channel featuring public TV’s trusted and popular signature series and specials augmented by new, diverse program offerings. In addition, WORLD features an updated website with short-form content and streaming of select full-length programs.

WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH, WNET and APT in association with PBS and NETA. For more information, visit www.WORLDchannel.org.


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