About Detroit Public TV - image of Wixom, Michigan studio

Our Service to Canada

WTVS Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people per week in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people per week throughout Canada via cable and satellite.

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

  1. The Canadian satellite company Shaw Broadcast Services as well as Rogers Communications, which relay the WTVS Channel 56 signal to many cable companies throughout the nation of Canada
  2. Shaw Direct (shawdirect.ca)
  3. Our own broadcasts and local Cogeco Cable carriage of our signal throughout Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, and much of Southwestern Ontario. In all, nearly 20 percent of Canadian homes can watch Detroit Public Television.

Our biggest concentrations of viewers are 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 Public Television listens to what our Canadian viewers and supporters tell us about the programs they like. In response, we have added British comedies and dramas to the lineup and new how-to series. Furthermore, we work with Canadian producers to bring their programs to U.S. television, and we are especially proud to work with cable companies to assist our shared viewers – it’s the best in neighbourly cooperation.

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


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m from Canada, and I’d like to give the station a gift. Will I be charged in U.S. or Canadian funds?
A: Because our bank is in the United States, all charge card pledges are automatically charged in U.S. funds. We cannot take charges in Canadian funds. We appreciate all donations, but we do buy all our programming and services with U.S. dollars. However, on checks from Canada you can either specify U.S. funds, or we will accept them at par if you would like to pay that way.

Q: I pledged during the last pledge drive. How long will it be before I receive my bonus item?
A: On average, it takes about six to eight (6-8) weeks for you to receive your bonus item (DVD, CDs, tote bags, etc.) after making a donation. We try to pre-order a small quantity of most items before each drive to expedite delivery, but availability and demand sometimes result in delays. We do mail most items at the first class rate, and we usually ship “combo” items separately. We’ll try to let you know if there will be a delivery delay. Gifts sent to Canada are shipped First Class via the Canadian postal service. By law, we must include a Customs Declaration, including a description of the gift and its fair market value. Please note you may be required to pay a duty upon arrival of the gift.

Q: I made a pledge to the station this year. How much of my donation is tax-deductible?
A: Canadian residents may receive a tax break if they have a source of taxable income from the United States. DPTV is a U.S. non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law if you itemize on a U.S. 1040 form. You must deduct the fair market value of any bonus item received for deductions. Please consult your tax advisor.

Q: What if I don’t have any source of taxable income from the U.S.?
A: 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 Public Television 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 Public TV 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 DPTV 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) reportsThe 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 at: http://www.current.org/2014/01/border-stations-appeal-canadian-agencys-crackdown-on-friends-group-charities/#sthash.w4uWU8ZS.dpuf

DPTV Passport

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What's On

Providing Support for Detroit Public TV   Learn More


Main Channel

The primary schedule of Detroit Public TV, with the full variety of our programs.

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Detroit PBS KIDS

Quality, educational children’s programming with your favorite Detroit PBS KIDS characters.

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Popular how-to shows from cooking to crafting, to home improvement to travel shows.

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The WORLD Channel

Signature documentary, science and news programming and original content.

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