The station broadcasts in stereo and broadcasts a secondary audio program (SAP) channel, used for descriptive video service (DVS). The station's analog channel operates on channel 9 while its digital channel operates on channel 39.
During the 2004 elections, KETC partnered with KSDK, St. Louis' NBC affiliate, to provide St. Louisans with the most comprehensive and up-to-date local and national election results. This partnership was first utilized to simulcast a gubernatorial debate between Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt(R) and State Auditor Claire McCaskill(D). On election night, KSDK aired NBC's primetime election coverage with Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert as well as segments of local results; on KETC, Mike Bush and Karen Foss hosted three hours of all local election results. Viewers could also watch election results online at ksdk.com and ketc.org
The successful KETC/KSDK partnership was used again in September 2005 when, along with radio partners KYKY (y98, 98.1FM) and KEZK (Soft Rock, 102.5FM), a telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief was simulcast that raised more than $5 million. The telethon featured an appearance by John Goodman, a native of Affton, Missouri who now calls New Orleans home and whose family was actually missing for a time during the storm's peak. Sheryl Crow, a native of Kennett, Missouri, and her fiancé Lance Armstrong urged viewers to call when they were interviewed by phone from the region.
The channel has gained a certain infamy among viewers in St. Louis for preempting a large number of PBS programs to air library shows or less controversial programs, such as WQED's doo-wop specials, on a regular basis, preferring to air the network shows at late hours. However, KETC has been known to cave in to pressure regarding this: when St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Eric Mink wrote an editorial about how they would show a Stars on Ice show over a September 11, 2001 documentary, KETC announced the next day that they would change and air the scheduled network program.
In May 2008, the E! cable network contracted with KETC to film two episodes of weekly pop culture series The Soup at their studios to accommodate host Joel McHale's filming of a movie in the St. Louis area