Great TV Auction

The Great TV Auction is a Milwaukee tradition! It is a unique on-air fundraising event which airs live on Milwaukee PBS Channel 36 to Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. New merchandise, certificates, services, art, antiques and collectibles are auctioned off to viewers who bid both by telephone and via the internet.

The Auction is also an excellent opportunity for companies, corporations, small businesses and individuals to garner valuable television exposure with our loyal Public Broadcasting audience and devoted Auction fans.

The money the Auction raises is used to purchase quality programming and maintain equipment for Milwaukee PBS. The majority of funding for Milwaukee PBS comes from community support.

The Great TV Auction facts at a glance:

    •    premiered in 1969 with a goal of raising $50,000 with a volunteer base of 250
    •    has raised millions of dollars over the last 48 years
    •    supports 10 minutes of every hour of programming on Milwaukee PBS
    •    reaches an 11 county viewing area across Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois
    •    made up of 3,500 volunteers, 6,000 donors and supporters, and countless buyers
    •    leads the nation’s PBS auctions in prime-time viewer ratings
    •    is the #1 PBS Auction in the nation, based on net revenue
    •    has won five PBS awards for fundraising excellence
    •    features art and antiques in a public exhibit and on-air
    •    In 2016 an Online Auction site was launched resulting in two additional auction opportunities per year

Auction Sponsorship Information

Milwaukee PBS’s commitment to use media for the public good has earned it the respect of the American people.  In fact, for 11 consecutive years, a national survey has confirmed that PBS is the country’s most trusted public institution!  More trusted than Courts of Law, more trusted than Commercial Broadcast TV, more trusted than Newspaper Publishers, more trusted than, well, any other public institution!

How great would it be, to be aligned with an organization with such a great reputation?
Through sponsorship of Milwaukee PBS’s largest event – the Milwaukee PBS Great TV Auction – your company can share in this high regard!  Our viewers will see that you support Milwaukee PBS – just like they do!

The Milwaukee PBS Great TV Auction is a unique media property in Southeastern Wisconsin. It has an amazing fan base of high-affinity viewers who demonstrate strong loyalty not only to public television, but also to the sponsors and partners  who support it.  The Auction has strong viewer ship – up to 20,000 households in the region are tuned in at any given time during the nine-day broadcast.  Audience composition is desirable: 85% of viewers are between the ages of 21 and 54, with higher than average household incomes.  The public television viewer base is made up of people from many walks of life – and skews toward decision makers.

Auction sponsorship provides an effective, unique way to billboard the sponsoring company to the community of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Of course, our goal is to raise money to support local public television, but we also seek to provide sponsors with maximum promotional value for their investment.  And, we are in the unique position to offer on-air promotion in exchange for your support!

Considering sponsorship of the 2018 Great TV Auction?  There are many levels ranging from $850 to $9,000. Contact: or call (414) 297-7036

Auction Donations

Before the end of the year, Milwaukee PBS Auction offices will be relocated to temporary quarters with very limited storage while our Foundation Hall offices are renovated.  As a result we are unable at this time to receive donations of items for our Auctions.  Early next year we will welcome donations of items as we preparing for the Great TV Auction that will be held April 27, 28 & 29 and May 4, 5 & 6.  In January 2018 please check back here, give us a call at (414) 297-7036 or send an email our way to