Our Service to Canada

With a weekly viewership of 1.2 million in Canada, Detroit PBS extends its reach to millions more across the nation through cable and satellite broadcasts.

Our primary viewership hubs include cable subscribers in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Halifax, St. John's, and various regions throughout Ontario.

Additionally, we maintain a significant presence in Québec and enjoy strong support from communities spanning the Atlantic Provinces to the Yukon.

Connected Across Canada

In 1982, Detroit PBS was chosen as the inaugural PBS station to be transmitted nationwide via satellite in Canada. Approximately 13% of the families annually supporting Detroit PBS are Canadian households.
Our distribution channels include:

Shaw Broadcast Services, a prominent Canadian satellite provider, and Rogers Communications, which relay the WTVS Channel 56 signal to numerous cable operators across Canada.

Our independent broadcasts and local carriage via Cogeco Cable in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, and much of Southwestern Ontario. In total, nearly 20 percent of Canadian households have access to Detroit PBS.

Insights from Canadian Viewers

At Detroit PBS, we actively heed the preferences of our Canadian audience, incorporating British comedies, dramas, and new how-to series into our programming lineup based on their feedback.

Furthermore, we collaborate with Canadian producers to showcase their content on U.S. television, fostering a spirit of cooperative engagement with cable companies to enhance the viewing experience for our shared audience.

Regardless of your location, we take pride in being the preferred destination for quality programming, and we are grateful for your ongoing support of our 24-hour service.


While over-the-air broadcasts reach beyond US borders into Canada and Mexico, online video is subject to geo-filtering, which restricts the areas that can view PBS content. PBS is legally obligated to ensure each program does not exceed its granted rights, which unfortunately eliminates international streaming ability for some PBS programs in Canada and elsewhere.

We regret not being able to offer all our content online to our supporters.

Watch Detroit PBS videos on our YouTube channel.

We have looked into tax deductibility in Canada with Canadian tax counsel because, of course, we would love for our Canadian donors to receive tax benefits from their contributions.  The problem is that we are not a Canadian non-profit organization, nor are we affiliated with one. Since we are not a university station, for us to meet the specific tests of what Revenue Canada requires for being a Canadian non-profit organization, we would have to use a portion of each Canadian donation to pay for the extra expenses of supporting a Canadian office, with, for example, a set of specific Canadian educational activities, and carrying out the rigorous requirements for that organization to be legitimate.  While we might observe some increased level of giving with Canadian non-profit tax status, we don’t believe that most of our viewers, Canadian or the US, want to see their donated dollars be diverted for unnecessary overhead purposes.

Canadian support of Detroit PBS is very important so we do try to be financially helpful by allowing Canadians to donate their dollars “at par” by writing checks, if they choose, in Canadian funds.  The loss to Detroit PBS in the exchange rate can at times be more generous to them than the tax break would be. While the great majority of Canadians donate in U.S. funds, recognizing that U.S. funds are what we must use to pay for the programs, we do hope that, for those who choose it, the alternative serves to compensate for the lack of a Canadian tax break, when this is a deciding factor for a donor.

Also, if our Canadian donors ever receive income from a U.S. source, they can deduct their donation to Detroit PBS from the taxes they pay on that U.S.-sourced income.

It is notable that other border stations are now experiencing challenges to their tax-exempt Canadian status.  Current (1/31/14) reports: The Canada Revenue Agency, that country’s equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service, determined that friends groups associated with Vermont Public Television and Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh, N.Y., don’t fit its criteria for registered charities because they don’t deliver an educational service. If its rulings aren’t reversed on appeal, donations from Canadian viewers would no longer qualify as tax-deductible charitable contributions – See more here.

In 1982, Detroit PBS was selected as the first PBS station to be transmitted via satellite across Canada. Approximately 13% of the families that support Detroit PBS each year are Canadian. We reach you through:

  • The Canadian satellite companies Shaw Broadcast Services and Rogers Communications relay the Detroit PBS signal to many cable companies throughout the nation of Canada.
  • Our own broadcasts and local Cogeco Cable carriage of our signal throughout Windsow, Chatham, Sarnia, and much of Southwestern Ontario. In all, nearly 20% of Canadian homes can watch Detroit PBS.

Our biggest concentration of viewers is cable subscribers in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Halifax, St. Johns, and, of course, Ontario. We are well-watched in Québec, and have wonderful friends in communities of all sizes, from the Atlantic Provinces to the Yukon.

Detroit PBS listens to what our Canadian viewers and supporters tell us about the programs they love. In response, we have added British comedies and dramas to the lineup and a new how-to series. Furthermore, we work with Canadian producers to bring their programs to US television, and we are especially proud to work with cable companies to assist our shared viewers – it’s the best in neighborly cooperation.

No matter where you are, we are proud that Detroit PBS is your choice for quality programming and that you find our 24-hour service worthy of your time and your support.