PBS (or the Public Broadcasting Service) is a nonprofit, private corporation which was founded in 1969. It is partially funded by CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is also a private corporation, but was created and is funded by the federal government. It also distributes the programs through the U.S.A.’s first satellite broadcast system. It serves close to 100 million people each week and is available in 99% of American homes that have televisions.

PBS funds programs for 349 member stations. It provides programming and other related services to noncommercial stations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Currently, 171 educational licensees operate the 349 PBS member stations. 88 of the licensees are community organizations, 56 are colleges and universities, 20 are state affiliated, and 7 are local educational authorities.

According to CPB, public television’s local and regional revenue in 1999 was $1.6 billion dollars. The major sources of revenue were: 23.5% from members, 17.1% from state governments, 14.8% from CPB and federal grants/contracts, 14.3% from businesses, 6.1% from state colleges and universities, and 6.1% from foundations. Members are what primarily drive the stations, almost 5 million people donated $373 million dollars to PBS in 1999.

According to PBS.org, PBS has received the following awards:

  • 8 George Foster Peabody Awards in March, 2002. It led all other networks in the amount of awards it received. PBS station WGBH Boston got an individual Peabody for "an example of the best in public television."
  • Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in January, 2002 for TV and radio journalism.
  • 5 Primetime Emmys in September, 2001
  • 7 News and Documentary Emmy Awards in September, 2001
  • 12 Daytime Emmys in May, 2001 for its children’s’ programming, which made it the leader over all other networks in the number of awards it has received.