High Marks for PBS Programming, Affiliate Stations

Connecticut Public Television will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a gala on June 8 at the Hartford Marriott.  CPTV is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs shows and educational programming.  CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television. The station is an affiliate of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, which just released its annual survey on public perception of its programming. The survey confirmed that PBS and its member stations are ranked first in trust among nationally known institutions, and are considered an "excellent" use of tax dollars by the American public.  The yearly study has also called PBS the most fair network for news and public affairs 10 consecutive times. In the most current round of research, PBS KIDS was named the most educational TV/media brand, the safest destination for children to watch television or visit online, and the top provider of content that helps children learn reading, math and essential skills. In each question, PBS KIDS significantly outscored cable and commercial broadcast television.

  • More than 4 in 5 people trust PBS (85% "trust a great deal" or "trust somewhat")
  • Nearly 3 in 4 participants (76%) believe federal funding for PBS is money well spent. 
  • More than 4 in 10 respondents (44%) named PBS KIDS the most educational TV/media brand, significantly outscoring the second most highly rated brand, Disney, which was considered most educational by 12%.
  • Eighty-one percent (81%) agreed "strongly or somewhat" that "PBS helps prepare children for success in school and life."   

PBS received high marks for the effectiveness of its programming for children and adults in terms of handling important topics. A majority of respondents believed PBS programming addressed key subjects – from providing access to the arts and improving literacy to providing access to a variety of viewpoints either “very well” or “well.”

•    Provide people access to arts and culture – 67% •    Promote an understanding of American history – 62% •    Inform people of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity – 60% •    Promote an understanding of science and technology – 60% •    Improve literacy – 59% •    Provide access to a variety of viewpoints – 54% •    Inform people of important political and social issues – 51% •    Inform people about health issues – 51%

8 in 10 people (80%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that “PBS helps prepare children for success in school and life.” This statement was equated with cable television and commercial broadcast television by 37% and 34% of participants, respectively.(3)

Eighty-four percent (84%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “helps children improve their reading and math skills.” Cable and commercial broadcast television received this rating from 40% and 30% of respondents, respectively.(3)

Eighty-eight percent (88%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “is a trusted and safe place for children to watch television.” Only 34% and 36% of respondents agreed with this statement regarding cable and commercial broadcast television, respectively.(3)

Eight-five percent (85%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “is a trusted and safe place for children to visit online,” while this statement was attributed to cable television and commercial broadcasters by only 31% and 34% of the sample, respectively.(3)

Eighty-three percent (83%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS is "the innovator" in children’s educational media. 37% percent and 27% of participants also applied this statement to cable and commercial broadcast television, respectively.

The research was conducted in January and February 2012 by the independent, non-partisan research companies Harris Interactive and ORC Online Caravan. Each year, PBS commissions research to measure its performance and value as judged by its most important stakeholder – the American public.  Full results are available at http://to.pbs.org/most-trusted-2012.