CPB Creates Digital Services Fund for Public Television

November 10, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 10, 2004 — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting today announced the creation of the $4.7 million Digital Services Fund, which will assist local public television stations in creating the first generation prototypes of digital content and services.

“Public broadcasters are trailblazers on the digital frontier,” said CPB President and CEO Kathleen Cox. “This new technology makes it possible to use television in ways we’d never imagined. We are only beginning to test its potential against the breadth of our ideas to serve the public good.”

Among other features, digital technology allows public broadcasters to enhance video and audio quality, to offer multicasting and other programming options, and to create a new array of services to benefit the public. The Digital Services Fund will provide grants for demonstration projects and prototypes, which could range from regional public affairs multicasts to instructional and teacher development channels and the delivery of community emergency preparedness content. CPB anticipates awarding grants of up to $500,000 on a competitive basis. The Fund will accept proposals through December 3, 2004.

CPB seeks proposals that build on a station’s digital capacity, demonstrate measurable goals and outcomes and serve specific audiences. Proposals that emphasize partnership, collaboration and sustainability are encouraged.

Congress has provided CPB with $143 million in special funding to aid public television and radio’s conversion from analog to digital broadcasting. To date, CPB has awarded 285 digital grants to public radio stations and 229 grants to public television stations to help them acquire the equipment needed to transmit a digital signal. Of the nation’s 356 public television stations, 292 are already broadcasting in digital, making public digital television available in approximately 94 percent of U.S. television households.

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 develops educational public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry’s largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations.

For information on the RFP/Guidelines please visit the CPB web site at: http://www.cpb.org/digital/funding/dsf/.

Press contact:
Jeannie Bunton