|Channels||Digital: see table below|
|Subchannels||see table below|
|Owner||Arkansas Educational Television Commission|
|First air date||December 4, 1966|
|Former affiliations||NET (1966–1970)|
|Transmitter power||see table below|
|Height||see table below|
|Facility ID||see table below|
|Transmitter coordinates||see table below|
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is a state network of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television stations serving the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is operated by the Arkansas Educational Television Commission, an agency of the Arkansas state government which holds the licenses for all of the PBS member stations licensed in the state. The broadcast signals of the six stations that are part of the public television network cover almost all of the state, as well as portions of Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.
AETN's offices and network operations are based out of the R. Lee Reaves Center for Educational Telecommunications, located adjacent to the University of Central Arkansas in Conway; its programming is distributed via a thirteen-site microwave interconnection relay system around the state, which covers most of Arkansas, as well as parts of surrounding states.
Approximately two-thirds of AETN's funding comes from state tax dollars to support the broadcast infrastructure and all services that are provided for educators and schools. More than 10% comes from the federal government as a partial match of what is raised locally. Almost 20% comes from voluntary contributions from individual viewers and businesses.
The Arkansas Educational Television Commission was created in 1961, following a two-year legislative study to assess the need for educational television programming in Arkansas. KETS (channel 2) in Little Rock, the flagship station of AETN, first signed on the air as the nation's 124th educational television station on December 4, 1966. In the early years, KETS was associated with National Educational Television, the forerunner of the current PBS. In the station's early years, KETS broadcast its programming black-and-white only, before upgrading to color capabilities in 1972. The station maintained limited hours of operation during its early years, with its programming focused primarily on instructional content for use in Arkansas schools.
For many years, KETS broadcast its signal from a transmitter tower located in Redfield; this tower collapsed on January 11, 2008, during work on adjusting guy wires. KETS's analog signal remained off the air until June 13, 2008, when a temporary analog antenna was installed at the Clear Channel Broadcasting Tower Redfield, where its digital transmitter had already originated.
After nine years of serving only Central Arkansas through KETS, AETN began to launch satellite stations between 1976 and 1980 in order to expand its coverage to virtually the entire state, becoming a full statewide network in the traditional sense. The first three satellites launched over the course of six months in 1976: KTEJ in Jonesboro signed on the air on May 1, KAFT signed on from Fayetteville on September 18 and KETG signed on from Arkadelphia on October 2, 1976; the final of the original satellites to debut was KEMV in Mountain View on November 16, 1980.
AETN's hours of operation gradually expanded over time to 24 hours a day, seven days a week as programming for general audiences was added during the evenings and on weekends. Much of south-central Arkansas was underserved by PBS programming from AETN (receiving only stations from nearby transmitters) until KETZ in El Dorado signed on the air on May 20, 2006. The five analog transmitters eventually converted to digital by mid-2009, joining KETZ (which had operated only a digital signal from launch), as part of the national digital transition.
During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, AETN became an educational resource for public school and college educators through the use of instructional videos with teacher guides and supplements for grade school classrooms, college telecourses and GED education for adults. During the mid-1990s, AETN began providing distance learning via broadcast, satellite, the Internet and compressed video to provide educational professional development as well as access for students to a wide variety of educational courses for classroom use.
AETN began creating local programming in the late 1960s and still annually produces more than 100 hours of full-length, educational and cultural programming specifically about Arkansas.
AETN refused to show the Arthur episode "Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone" due to the episode depicting a same-sex marriage. Later, the network decided to air the show on an alternate channel.
|Station||City of license
(Other cities served)
(RF / VC)
|First air date||ERP||HAAT||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates||Public license information|
|December 4, 1966||26.73 kW||547 m (1,795 ft)||2770||Profile|
(West Memphis, AR/
|May 1, 1976||322.9 kW||310.2 m (1,018 ft)||2769||Profile|
|September 18, 1976||37.9 kW||501.1 m (1,644 ft)||2767||Profile|
Shreveport–Bossier City, LA)
|October 2, 1976||13.85 kW||319.5 m (1,048 ft)||2768||Profile|
|KEMV||Mountain View||13 (VHF)
|November 16, 1980||12.1 kW||407.2 m (1,336 ft)||2777||Profile|
(The Monroes, LA/
|May 20, 2006||16.2 kW||538 m (1,765 ft)||92872||Profile|
The digital channels of AETN's stations are multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|xx.1||720p||16:9||(callsign)-1||Main AETN programming / PBS|
Arkansas Information Reading Service (audio only, only on SAP; radio reading service)
During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, AETN shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operation as well as their post-transition channel allocations:
KETZ signed on in May 2006 as a digital-only station, although it also had to endure a temporary shutdown in early 2009 in final preparation for the transition.