Educational Television

May 18, 1954

Report Outline
Beginnings of Educational Television
Sponsorship of Educational Stations
Television as an Educational Instrument
Special Focus

Beginnings of Educational Television

Allocation of TV Channels for Educational Use

After a slow start, educational television is picking up speed. Only a single non-commercial, educational TV station was operating six months ago; today five are on the air; and within another six months the present number is expected to triple. A total of 15 or 16 educational stations will fall far short of the 250 for which the Federal Communications Commission has reserved channels. However, as F.C.C. Chairman Hyde remarked on Apr. 8, getting the first few stations on the air represented “a tremendous accomplishment.”

With the experience of pioneer stations available to guide succeeding stations, educational television is likely to move ahead more rapidly to occupy the areas of the broadcasting band that have been set aside for it. Although only 46 applications have been filed for the 250 reserved channels, around 140 cities have displayed various degrees of interest in establishing educational TV stations. The prospects for obtaining community-wide financial support for such undertakings, moreover, appear to be growing constantly more favorable.

F.C.C.'s Allocation of Channels for Educational Tv

The opportunity for nation-wide development of educational television was opened two years ago, when the F.C.C. made an initial allocation of 242 (since increased to 250) channels for non-commercial, educational stations in as many different communities across the country. The assignments were included in a general allocation of channels which, becoming effective June 3, 1952, ended a four-year freeze on new television stations. The F.C.C. ruled that the educational channels would be “licensed only to nonprofit educational organizations upon a showing that the proposed stations will be used primarily to serve the educational needs of the community.” The stations were to be authorized to “transmit educational, cultural, and entertainment programs, and programs designed for use by schools and school systems,” but not “programs for which a consideration is received.”

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