South Carolina Educational Television

South Carolina Educational Television is the statewide public television and public radio network in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It consists of all the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television stations and National Public Radio (NPR) member radio stations in the state. It is operated by the South Carolina Educational Television Commission, an agency of the state government.

The state network traces its history to 1957, when the General Assembly authorized a study in the use of television in the state's public schools. A studio opened in the state capital, Columbia, a year later at Dreher High School. The Commission began operations on June 3, 1960, and by 1962 extended television service to all 46 of South Carolina's counties. Also in 1963, the Commission opened the first Educational television station in South Carolina, WNTV in Greenville. A year later, WITV in Charleston signed on. Two years later, the state network's primary, WRLK-TV in Columbia, signed on. The state network now comprises 16 stations. After years of receiving NET and PBS programs on tape-delay, it entered PBS' satellite network in 1978. In 2000, SCETV broadcast the first digital television program in the state. Since 2003, the state network has been known on-air as simply "ETV."

The Commission entered public radio in 1972, when WEPR in Clemson signed on (WEPR later moved to Greenville). Eventually, the state network expanded to eight stations and was known as the South Carolina Educational Radio Network (SCERN) until 2003, when it became known as ETV Radio. While "ETV" generally refers to television, SCETV views "ETV" as a general brand name for all SCETV-related media, not just television.

SCETV's television state network consists of 11 transmitters that cover almost all of South Carolina, as well as eastern parts of Georgia (including Augusta and Savannah) and southern portions of North Carolina (including Charlotte and Asheville).

As of 2011, the SCETV stations are:

Station City of license
(other cities served)
(TV / RF)
First air date ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter Coordinates
WNTV Greenville 29 (PSIP)
9 (VHF)
September 1963 1 65 kW 377.8 m 61010 34°56′28.6″N 82°24′37.6″W
WITV Charleston 7 (PSIP)
7 (VHF)
January 19, 1964 20 kW 521 m 61005 32°55′28.6″N 79°41′55.2″W
"ETV Headquarters"
Columbia 35 (PSIP)
32 (UHF)
September 1966 2 62 kW 315.7 m 61013 34°7′7″N 80°56′12.7″W
WJPM-TV Florence 33 (PSIP)
45 (UHF)
September 3, 1967 45 kW 242.4 m 61008 34°16′48.1″N 79°44′34.4″W
WEBA-TV Allendale
(Aiken, Augusta, GA)
14 (PSIP)
33 (UHF)
September 5, 1967 427 kW 241.3 m 61003 33°11′15.7″N 81°23′49.2″W
"ETV Lowcountry"
(Hilton Head, Savannah, GA)
16 (PSIP)
44 (UHF)
September 6, 1975 440 kW 364.5 m 61007 32°42′42.5″N 80°40′53.8″W
"ETV Sumter"
Sumter 27 (PSIP)
28 (UHF)
September 7, 1975 98.4 kW 364 m 61012 33°52′51.9″N 80°16′15.7″W
"ETV Carolinas"
Rock Hill
(Charlotte, NC)
30 (PSIP)
15 (UHF)
January 3, 1978 403 kW 211.6 m 61009 34°50′23.7″N 81°1′6.3″W
WHMC-TV Conway
(Myrtle Beach)
23 (PSIP)
9 (VHF)
September 2, 1980 20 kW 229.6 m 61004 33°57′2.5″N 79°6′30.5″W
"ETV Upstate"
Spartanburg 49 (PSIP)
43 (UHF)
September 1980 5 50 kW 302.1 m 61011 34°53′11.3″N 81°49′15.3″W
WNEH Greenwood
38 (PSIP)
18 (UHF)
September 10, 1984 49 kW 229.8 m 60931 34°22′20.3″N 82°10′4″W

1. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says WNTV signed on September 15, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on September 29.
2. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says WRLK signed on September 5, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on September 6.
3. WRLK-TV's call letters refer to R. Lynn Kalmbach, SCETV's first executive director.
4. WNSC-TV (ETV Carolinas), WRJA-TV (ETV Sumter), WRET-TV (ETV Upstate) and WJWJ-TV (ETV Lowcountry) are full-fledged stations that occasionally break off from the main signal at WRLK-TV (ETV Headquarters) in Columbia to produce regional programs. The other five stations are operated as full-time relay stations of WRLK-TV.
5. The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says WRET signed on September 4, while the Television and Cable Factbook says it signed on September 8.

Digital programming
SCETV offers three digital television services over its state network of 11 digital transmitters across South Carolina available over-the-air, or through some digital cable providers. ETV HD is the primary feed with high definition content from PBS and SCETV broadcast at a screen resolution of 1080i. The other two digital subchannels are in standard definition at resolution of 480i.

The lineup of the sub-channels are as follows:

Channel Name Programming
xx.1 ETV Main SCETV Programming / PBS
xx.2 The South Carolina Channel Create (12a-06p)
PBS Encore (06p-12a)
xx.3 ETV World PBS World

Analog-to-digital conversion
Despite the DTV Delay Act national transition extension to June 12, 2009, SCETV ended analog services on its 11 full-power transmitters at midnight on February 18, 2009.

After this, the following changes occurred:
WITV's digital signal in Charleston moved to its old analog position on channel 7, requiring viewers to re-scan or manually add the new station.
WNTV, WRLK-TV, WJPM-TV, WEBA-TV, WJWJ-TV, WRJA-TV, WNSC-TV, WHMC-TV, WRET-TV and WNEH remained on their pre-transition digital channels (9, 32, 45, 33, 44, 28, 15, 9, 43, and 18).

PSIP is used to display a virtual channel for each SCETV station which corresponds to its former analog channel.

Cable and satellite availability
SCETV's television network is carried on nearly all cable systems in South Carolina. Additionally, WNSC-TV in Rock Hill is carried on some of Time Warner Cable's systems on the North Carolina side of the Charlotte market.

On DirecTV and Dish Network, WNTV, WITV, WRLK-TV, WNSC-TV, WJPM-TV, WEBA-TV and WJWJ-TV are available on the local Greenville/Spartanburg, Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, Florence/Myrtle Beach, Augusta and Savannah feeds, respectively.

SCETV Radio consists of eight FM transmitters covering almost all of South Carolina and parts of Georgia and North Carolina.

Three of them broadcast a mix of NPR information programs and classical music; five of them broadcast strictly NPR news and information. However, they simulcast NPR's more popular shows, such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

News and classical music

City Call letters Frequency
Charleston WSCI 89.3 FM
Columbia WLTR 91.3 FM
Greenville WEPR 90.1 FM

News and information

City Call letters Frequency
Aiken WLJK 89.1 FM
Beaufort WJWJ-FM 89.9 FM
Conway WHMC-FM 90.1 FM
Sumter WRJA-FM 88.1 FM
Rock Hill WNSC-FM 88.9 FM

Until 2001, all of the stations aired a format similar to the Classical stations today. However, since much of the state gets grade B coverage from at least two full NPR member stations, SCERN Radio opted to split into two networks. WJWJ was the first to split off, in 2001, because nearly all of its coverage area also gets classical music from WSVH in Savannah. It was followed by WRJA and WHMC later in 2001, with WLJK joining in 2003. Presently, the only area of the state that doesn't get grade B coverage from two NPR stations is WEPR's coverage area in the west.

Until the rebranding to ETV Radio, WJWJ-FM, WSCI, and WEPR had local studios with occasional local shows. Due to budget cuts and the creation of the two ETV Radio state networks, all stations now are fed programming directly from Columbia, although ETV maintains several local offices.

From 2001 to 2008, WNSC-FM in Rock Hill broke off from the rest of the state network to air jazz music in order to avoid programming duplication with WFAE in Charlotte. However, starting on July 1, 2008, WNSC-FM joined the NPR News radio. SCETV president Moss Bresnahan told The Charlotte Observer that SCETV didn't want to deny people on the South Carolina side of the Charlotte market access to SCETV's growing slate of local programming. The move left the Charlotte market without a jazz station of its own. Ironically, WNSC was the Charlotte area's first NPR station when it signed on in 1979; WFAE didn't sign on until 1981.

In 2009, ETV Radio began streaming both the Classical and News networks on the Web. It had been one of the few NPR members not to offer live streaming.

SCETV original programming (current and past)
At Home Southern Style
Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War (1999) Great Projects Film Company Inc. PBS
Enemies of War (2001) ITVS PBS
Firing Line
NatureScene (SCETV's long-running outdoors program, syndicated to PBS stations nationwide)
Making it Grow
Carolina Journal
Jobman Caravan
Palmetto Places
Priscilla's Yoga Stretches
Carolina Business Review (in conjunction with UNC-TV and WTVI in Charlotte)
State House Tonight
Mary Long's Yesteryear (no longer in production, Mary Long died in 1998, but reruns continue on ETV as well as on SC Channel on cable)
The Magic School Bus (Animated Nelvana/Ellipse production based on the children's book series; presented by SCETV and aired on PBS from 1994-1998)
Sandlapper's Corner (Late 1970s children's educational show focused on South Carolina culture and history)
Profile (Part of the ETV Classics series branding)
Studio See (SCETV's magazine-style children's show, seen nationwide on PBS in the late-1970s and early-1980s)
Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey (2001) Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture William Greaves PBS
Under The Blue Umbrella (In-school program from the 1970s that dealt with a single-subject; nationally-syndicated to PBS stations)
Under The Yellow Balloon (Similar to Blue Umbrella; from the early-1980s)
Six Gun Heroes (1980s series on the western stars from the golden age of cinema; also seen nationwide on PBS stations)
The Dooley and Pals Show (SCETV distributes the secular version of this children's series to PBS stations)
Great Projects: The Building of America (2002) [[Great Projects Film Company Inc.] PBS

ETV occasionally broadcasts college sports from various state colleges in South Carolina.