Smithsonian Channel Screenings

Showing a Smithsonian Channel program is an easy way to bring the Smithsonian to your neighborhood. As part of a Smithsonian Affiliation, Affiliate organizations have access to the Channel’s award-winning programming on popular topics such as air and space, history, science, nature and pop culture.

Affiliates can request a program to complement an exhibition, to be a stand-alone event, or to celebrate a heritage month.* It’s a great way to highlight the Affiliate partnership with the Smithsonian. *Screening rules and restrictions apply. This benefit is for current Smithsonian Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, contact us.

The process is easy:

  1. Browse new and upcoming titles
  2. Contact us to start the process. Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks advance notice for approval.
  3. Publicize the screening and program only after receiving written approval and a license from the Smithsonian Channel.

If you are interested in screening a Smithsonian Channel program or have additional questions, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, (202) 633-5304;

Smithsonian Channel Screening FAQs

Please note, until further notice, Smithsonian Channel programs will only be available in MP4 file format. DVD and Bluray format will not be produced. Please contact us if you need to test an MP4 file before requesting a program.

There is no cost to a current Smithsonian Affiliate for screening a Smithsonian Channel program.

No. The Affiliate organization may not charge an additional fee for screening Smithsonian Channel content. The screening may be included as part of regular admission, but it cannot be a separate charge.

Smithsonian Affiliates can screen the program as many times as they’d like within the dates outlined in the approved license agreement. For dates outside of the original approved license, the Affiliate must submit a new request.

DVDs do not have to be returned once the screening is over. The Affiliate should destroy the DVDs unless they plan to request additional screening dates. If requesting new dates, a new form must be submitted for a new license to be approved.

Closed captioning must be requested in advance, preferably when submitting the original form. It is not automatically included in the DVD. If requested, the captioning cannot be disabled during the screening.

The Smithsonian Channel will provide marketing materials once the signed license agreements have been submitted. Any and all promotional material must be reviewed by the Channel before printing, publishing, posting, etc. Please allow 3 business days for materials to be approved. Affiliates should send drafts to their National Outreach Manager or Elizabeth Bugbee for approval.

Blackout dates are a three-month period when Affiliates cannot request new screenings for public events during the blackout time. Blackout dates are January through March each year.

Plan in advance if you know your organization may be interested in screening a Channel program in January, February, or March. You can still screen a program if the request is submitted before the following deadlines:

November 1 for January screenings

December 1 for February and March screenings

No requests for public screenings in January, February, or March will be accepted after December 1.

Affiliates can submit request forms during the blackout period, however, screening dates may not be before April 1.

Featured this month

America in Color (Season 3)

Rated TVPG-V; approximate run-time is 45 minutes; free for Smithsonian Affiliates.

In the first half of the 20th century, America transformed from a young country on the rise into a global superpower. It’s a decisive period in our nation’s history that has only been revisited in black and white…until now. Using digital colorization technology, we present over 50 vibrant years of good times and great despair, technological triumphs and natural disasters, and global villains and national heroes.