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Program Challenge Fund

Grant: Program Challenge Fund
Agency: Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Deadline: April 4, 2013 and August 1, 2013.

Description: The Program Challenge Fund was created in 1987 to support high profile, primetime limited series and specials for the national public television schedule. The Challenge Fund is jointly administered by CPB and PBS, which make funding decisions based on mutually established programming goals and objectives.

CPB and PBS have refined the purpose of the Program Challenge Fund in an effort to bring additional impact to the National Program Service schedule. The Program Challenge Fund funds high-visibility, high-impact limited series that offer a definitive take on a subject or break new ground in popular, public service media.

CPB and PBS expect a successful Program Challenge Fund program to be the highlight of a given season's schedule and have the potential to generate publicity, and attract new audiences to PBS broadcast and online content.

Furthermore, to address industry-wide goals for development of digital content, CPB and PBS will dedicate Program Challenge Fund dollars to high-definition programs only, and recipients will be expected to deliver all digital content with the underlying rights.

This year, there is a web, mobile and social media component. Producers are expected to deliver content in line with existing PBS tools for Web, mobile and social media. Websites are to be published within a standard, multi-page template supporting streaming video, TV schedules, text, images and downloadable assets. CPB and PBS will not fund custom development for these platforms.

Note: There is no standard application process for the Program Challenge Fund, and producers should submit projects according to the general CPB Recommended Submission Guidelines. Producers should also contact PBS. Only those projects deemed to meet the Challenge Fund priorities by CPB and PBS programming teams will be among the final projects considered for investment at the appropriate Program Challenge Fund meeting.

Eligibility: Television stations may apply directly.

Limitations:  The Program Challenge Fund applies to high-definition programs only, and recipients will be expected to deliver all digital content with the underlying rights.

How to apply: Two copies of the completed submission packages are required, one to be sent to CPB and the other to PBS. Application packages should be submitted by mail to the addresses provided below. Each should be accompanied by the submission paperwork unique to each organization.

Program Challenge Fund Submission
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Program Challenge Fund Submission
Television and Digital Video Content
401 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Program website 


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