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About MPT

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Maryland Public Television: A television station? A state agency? A community educational resource?

Yes, yes and yes.

Maryland Public Television is an agency of the State of Maryland that exists to provide informational, educational and cultural programming to the citizens of Maryland. MPT is your public television station, bringing you the best that television has to offer, including the best children's programming on television. We are also a producer of programs about Maryland and the region.

Beyond the broadcast, MPT works with educational organizations and community groups to make our television programs more meaningful. We help teachers integrate technology (television and the internet and new digital technologies) into their classrooms.

Where does MPT acquire its funding? How does MPT spend its money?

MPT has been an independent agency of the State of Maryland since its 1969 establishment. Less than one-third or our budget comes from state money. That means that approximately two-thirds needs to be raised each year to fund the activities of MPT: the programs you see on your television set plus the non-broadcast, educational, outreach, telecommunications, and Internet initiatives that touch the lives of tens of thousands of Marylanders annually.

How can I support Maryland Public Television?

The support of our viewers is critical in several ways.

First, you can let us know what you think about our programming and other services by writing to us at:

Viewer Services
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

Second, you can support us financially by becoming a member of MPT. Finally, you can also tell others - your family, friends, neighbors and state, local and federal officials - that you support Maryland Public Television and urge them to the same.

What is Maryland Public Television's relationship to PBS?

Maryland Public Television provides public television programming across the state of Maryland, into the District of Columbia, and into parts of northern Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. PBS, the national public television organization, and other public television stations supply many of our programs, but MPT also produces and acquires programming to meet the unique needs of our region. MPT also reaches out to our community through special educational and community services and events.

Is Maryland Public Television the same organization or television station as WETA?

Maryland Public Television and WETA are separate organizations. Like MPT, WETA is a public television station and broadcasts some of the same programs. MPT, like WETA and all other public television stations across the country, decides which programs to broadcast and when to broadcast them to best serve the needs and interests of our viewers and members.

Does MPT lease tower space?

Maryland Public Television, having broadcast towers at various locations throughout the state of Maryland, has tower space available for lease. For additional information interested parties may contact Miriam DePalmer at 410-581-4033.

How can I get a copy of the show I saw, last night, last week, last year?

First, you need to know that MPT cannot legally make copies of most of the programs we air. Those programs, and the right to make copies, belong to the individual or company that produced the program or series. In many cases copies are available through PBS or other cassette distribution companies. But we are glad to help you identify where you can get a copy of the program. It helps if you know the exact title and when the program aired on MPT.

Several of our MPT Productions are available from Shop MPT.

If your search is less than fruitful, you can always contact our Viewer Services department at

What happened to my favorite show, (fill in the blank)?

First of all, we are so glad that you were able to find programming that you love on Maryland Public Television. We offer television at its best. Unfortunately, it is hard to give you one specific reason for your particular show's disappearance. Your show might not be appearing at this time for several reasons.

When we purchase a show (and yes, we do have to buy the programming we air), we purchase it for a certain number of broadcasts over a certain number of years, on average between 2 and 4 years. It is possible that the show you loved has expired.

Sometimes shows are no longer available to public television or have been picked up by other stations/networks.

Perhaps you have caught us during a membership drive and your show is on hiatus but will continue at the conclusion of our drive. Be sure to keep checking your listings so you don't miss it when it returns.

At other times, the producers simply decide not to produce any more programs of that series.

Lastly, we strive to have a fun, fresh and challenging schedule. We often rotate our shows - especially our how to shows - to make room for other shows. It is our hope that these new shows will become your favorites also.

How do I get a show I've produced on MPT?

We have a question for you first. Is it a finished program? Or do you have an idea in mind? MPT infrequently pursues program ideas. However, if you think you have something truly unusual or important that you've never seen on public television before, please send us your idea. Be sure to include all the important details such as the potential size of the audience and possible funding sources.

» Editorial Guidelines

Do you have a finished program? Do you have a background in television production? If so we would love to take a look at your program. Please send to:

Program Manager
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

How do you pick your programs? And where do they come from?

Our schedule is put together by our programming staff. They are responsible for screening programs, conducting research and responding to the needs and concerns of viewers like you. Our programming team strives to provide you with a diverse schedule that suits many needs and tastes. We realize you won't love everything we do, but feel strongly that we truly have something for everyone.

Our programming comes from many sources. A great number of our programs and series come from other PBS stations nationwide. We also purchase and acquire programs from APTVS.

Many of the British programming that so many of you have come to love come from the BBC. Still other shows, come from independent producers and production companies around the world. Finally some of our programming, particularly about Maryland, is produced by MPT.

If a recording is not available of a show can you make me a copy? Or can I come to MPT and watch it there?

While we do maintain a tape library, our tapes are for broadcast only. We are not able to make copies of the programs that we broadcast. Those shows belong to the producers of the individual program and under copyright laws it would be illegal for us to make copies for the public. We are not able to accommodate individual requests to come and watch programs at MPT. From time to time, we do sponsor special events where programs are previewed before broadcast.

Why does my television sound like some radio station and does not correspond to the program I'm watching?

We want to provide the most service possible to our audience and one of the ways we do that is to use an extra audio channel that comes with the broadcast to provide reading and entertainment for the blind. Your TV/VCR/Stereo or the remote to one of more of these items provides you with 3 audio choices Mono/Stereo/SAP. SAP stands for Secondary Audio Program. SAP was designed to carry foreign language translations of programs or to serve the visually impaired by providing verbal descriptions TV programs called DVS or descriptive video service. Very few programs contain foreign language translation or DVS so Maryland Public Television utilizes this service to provide entertainment and reading for the blind.

So, if you are hearing unrelated talking instead of the voices of your favorite characters or performers you've somehow turned on the SAP channel. Several things can trigger this change including power outages and surges, children and pets playing with the remote or dropping the remote.

You can return to MPT's regular audio services usually with the click of a button. Each TV or VCR varies but here is an outline to get you started. The SAP button can usually be found on your remote control under MENU or PROGRAM. Look for the audio prompt. Once you get there you will usually have options for Mono, Stereo, or SAP. Select stereo, and the normal voices of MPT should return. If this does not work, please consult your manual.

How do I find out if a show will repeat?

Your best bet is to look it up on the search section of our online schedule. Our website has our most up to date listings.

Why did you air "THAT" program?

From time to time, MPT airs controversial programs. It is our intention to broaden your mind, to expose you to the thoughts and views of others and to create a marketplace of ideas. We strive to promote thought provoking discussions throughout the state. While we realize that at times we will broadcast programs that may seem contrary to your beliefs we hope you will watch our programming with an open mind. We are confident that we best serve our audience and earn the right to be called public television when we give a voice to diversity.

What channel are you?

Please visit our Channel Guide page for this information.