South Dakota Public Broadcasting

South Dakota Public Broadcasting
statewide South Dakota
United States
Branding SDPB/PBS South Dakota
Slogan Learn. Dream. Grow.
Channels Analog: see table below
Digital: see table below
Affiliations Television:
PBS (1970-present)
Radio: NPR
Owner South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication
(South Dakota Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications)
First air date May 29, 1922 (radio)
July 5, 1961 (1961-07-05) (television)
Call letters' meaning see table below
Former affiliations NET (1961–1970)
Transmitter power see table below
Height see table below
Facility ID see table below
Transmitter coordinates see table below
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Dakota Public Broadcasting Profile
Dakota Public Broadcasting CDBS

South Dakota Public Broadcasting, or SDPB for short, is a state network of non-commercial educational television and radio stations serving the state of South Dakota. The stations are operated by the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication, a state agency which holds the licenses for all of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio stations licensed in South Dakota except KRSD in Sioux Falls, which is owned and run by Minnesota Public Radio, and KAUR, which is owned by Augustana College and operated by MPR. The studios and offices are located at 500 N. Dakota Avenue in the Allen Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion, South Dakota.


Educational broadcasting in South Dakota began in 1919 with experimental broadcasts at USD's College of Engineering. USD was granted a full license in 1922, and went on the air that May 29 as WEAJ. It became KUSD in 1925. By 1952, the station settled at 690 AM at 1,000 watts, operating only during daylight hours to protect CBF in Montreal. In 1967, it acquired an FM sister station, KUSD-FM at 89.7. Also in 1967, South Dakota State University in Brookings signed on KESD-FM. The three stations merged in 1982 as South Dakota Public Radio, which in turn merged with the State Board of Directors for Educational Television (now the Bureau of Information and Telecommunication) in 1985. Between 1985 and 1991, five other stations joined the network. One of them was KCSD, which signed on in 1985 as part of a partnership between Sioux Falls College (now the University of Sioux Falls) and the ETV Board in an effort to improve the network's reception in South Dakota's largest city. Until 2013, KCSD's license was held by the University of Sioux Falls and operated by the state network under a management agreement.[1] The network bought KCSD outright in 2013.

In 1992, a Chevrolet Suburban went on a joyride through the Vermillion Golf Course, where KUSD-AM's towers were located. The Suburban crashed into one of the AM station's towers and knocked it down. The insurance settlement was not large enough to restore full operations, and KUSD-AM went off the air for good in 1994.

South Dakota Public Radio stations in the lineup include:

Location Frequency Call sign
Vermillion 89.7 FM KUSD-FM
Rapid City 89.3 FM KBHE-FM
Sioux Falls 90.9 FM KCSD
Aberdeen 90.9 FM KDSD-FM
Brookings 88.3 FM KESD-FM
Watertown 90.3 FM KJSD
Eagle Butte 97.1 FM KPSD-FM
Lowry 91.9 FM KQSD-FM
Reliance 91.1 FM KTSD-FM
Spearfish 91.9 FM KYSD-FM
Martin 102.5 FM KZSD-FM

South Dakota Public Radio also rebroadcasts on the following translator stations:

Location Frequency Call sign
Aberdeen 91.7 FM K219CM
Belle Fourche 88.1 FM K201AP
Edgemont 90.7 FM K214BN
Hot Springs 88.1 FM K201AQ
Huron 91.3 FM K217CE
Lead 88.7 FM K204GC
Mitchell 90.9 FM K215AI
Pierre 96.3 FM K242CH
Pringle 88.5 FM K203BN

In March 2007, South Dakota Public Radio started broadcasting on HD Radio.


The flagship TV station is KUSD-TV, transmitted on UHF channel 34 (PSIP channel 2), in Vermillion. It signed on the air on July 5, 1961 as the state's first Educational television station. Eight more stations signed on from 1967 to 1995, extending its reach to parts of Minnesota and Iowa. One of them was KCSD-TV, which signed on to improve the network's reach in the state's largest city. Although the analog channel 2 signal traveled a very long distance under normal conditions, KUSD-TV provided spotty coverage to parts of the Sioux Falls area until cable gained more penetration in the 1980s. It was likely that KCSD-TV would have been necessary in any event due to the digital transition, since FCC rules required a station's digital signal to cover at least 80 percent of its analog footprint.

SDPB television stations included in the state network are:

Station City of license Channels
VC1 First air date Call letters’
Facility ID
Transmitter coordinates
KUSD-TV Vermillion 34 (UHF) 2 July 5, 1961 University of
236 kW 204 m 61072 43°3′1.4″N 96°47′2.3″W / 43.050389°N 96.783972°W / 43.050389; -96.783972 (KUSD-TV)
KBHE-TV Rapid City 26 (UHF) 9 September 13, 1967 Black
76.3 kW 191.7 m 61068 44°3′6.5″N 103°14′38.9″W / 44.051806°N 103.244139°W / 44.051806; -103.244139 (KBHE-TV)
KCSD-TV Sioux Falls 24 (UHF) 23 June 13, 1995 Clark
29 kW 75 m 60728 43°34′29.2″N 96°39′19.3″W / 43.574778°N 96.655361°W / 43.574778; -96.655361 (KCSD-TV)
KDSD-TV Aberdeen 17 (UHF) 16 January 1, 1972 AberDeen
19 kW 349 m 61064 45°29′54″N 97°40′28.9″W / 45.49833°N 97.674694°W / 45.49833; -97.674694 (KDSD-TV)
KESD-TV Brookings 8 (VHF) 8 February 4, 1968 Educational
15 kW 229 m 61067 44°20′16.2″N 97°13′42.1″W / 44.337833°N 97.228361°W / 44.337833; -97.228361 (KESD-TV)
KPSD-TV Eagle Butte 13 (VHF) 13 September 16, 1973 Public Broadcasting
27 kW 516 m 61071 45°3′13.6″N 102°15′48.6″W / 45.053778°N 102.263500°W / 45.053778; -102.263500 (KPSD-TV)
KQSD-TV Lowry 11 (VHF) 11 March 9, 1976 Quality
37 kW 312.7 m 61063 45°16′37.1″N 99°59′11.2″W / 45.276972°N 99.986444°W / 45.276972; -99.986444 (KQSD-TV)
KTSD-TV Pierre 10 (VHF) 10 August 1, 1970 Television
54.7 kW 487.7 m 61066 43°58′6.3″N 99°35′41.3″W / 43.968417°N 99.594806°W / 43.968417; -99.594806 (KTSD-TV)
KZSD-TV Martin 8 (VHF) 8 February 9, 1978 Zenith
44.7 kW 266 m 61062 43°25′59.7″N 101°33′19.1″W / 43.433250°N 101.555306°W / 43.433250; -101.555306 (KZSD-TV)



The television programming from SDPB is also rebroadcast on the following translator stations (low-power rebroadcasters):

Call sign TV Channel Location
K04GW-D 4 Spearfish
K10PS-D 10 Pine Ridge
K19CG-D 19 Belle Fourche
K39LT-D 39 Pringle
K08PM-D 8 Wagner
K15IZ-D 15 Edgemont

Digital television

Digital channels

The digital signals of SDPB's stations are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]
x.1 1080i 16:9 SDPB Main SDPB programming / PBS
x.2 480i 4:3 SDPB-2 World
x.3 SDPB-3 Create

Analog-to-digital conversion

During 2009, in the lead-up to the analog-to-digital television transition that would ultimately occur on June 12, SDPB shut down the analog transmitters of its stations on a staggered basis. Listed below are the dates each analog transmitter ceased operations as well as their post-transition channel allocations:[11]


Although SDPB provides PBS programming, it also produces original programs such as:

SDPB has also produced educational programs, such as:

SDPB has also syndicated educational programs, such as:


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