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Monterey Bay ABC to become KSBW subchannel


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#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:38 AM

According to this announcement:

KSBW-TV 8, the NBC affiliate serving Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz and the No. 1 station on California’s Central Coast, will continue as the region’s NBC station, but, as a result of a new affiliation agreement, will add the ABC network line-up to its digital multicast channel.

Beginning spring 2011, popular ABC primetime, daytime and network news programs -- as well as top syndicated shows -- will be available locally throughout the Central Coast, on over-the-air channel 8.2. The new ABC multicast channel will also be carried on Comcast Cable. KSBW-TV local and NBC Network programming will continue to be seen on KSBW’s primary over-the-air channel 8 as well as Comcast Channel 6 and Comcast HD channel 706.

“Digital TV spectrum enables us to bring the Central Coast more great programs and increased choices,” stated Joseph W. Heston, President and General Manager of KSBW. “The Central Coast has never had a local ABC affiliate. Now we can bring viewers NBC shows, plus the great line up from ABC. Best of all, the No.1 rated newscast in our region, ‘KSBW Action News 8,’ will be seen on both channels.”


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#2 OFFLINE   sum_random_dork

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 10:53 AM

Wow as I recall KGO was the ABC outlet in the Moterey area. I am surprised they gave it up, or maybe they'll still be carried in that market. As I recall it was something to do with KNTV moving from the Moterey market to the SF/Oak/SJ market, at the time KNTV was the ABC outlet in Moterey. About 6 months after they let go of their ABC affliation KNTV became the NBC affiliate in the SF market because KRON was stupid (Young Broadcasting) and let their NBC affliation go.

#3 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:45 AM

This is a disaster for the Monterey-Salinas market. According to the article, KSBW will rebroadcast its local news on 8.2. How does that benefit the Monterey-Salinas market? The local news from KSBW is already available on 8.1. Now Monterey-Salinas viewers will lose the benefit of local news from San Francisco or Los Angeles, and will possibly also lose the benefit of HD ABC programming if KSBW offers ABC in SD only. Sure, KSBW will make a lot of money, but the viewers will be the losers.

#4 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:28 PM

I am also wondering how are Comcast and KGO going to react to this deal? KSBW is an NBC affiliate, and if I am correct Comcast is attempting to purchase NBC. KGO is owned and operated by ABC. It seems like this deal, while good for KSBW and Hearst, is bad for Comcast and ABC.

Here is the interesting part: Comcast Cable has developed the station Monterey Bay ABC, which is basically KGO being rebroadcast on cable systems in Monterey County and Santa Cruz County and San Benito County, but with a few syndicated programs substituted out and with local advertising inserted. I expect that Comcast Cable is making some money by selling the local advertising, and KGO/ABC is making some money by having its signal imported into the Monterey-Salinas market. Also, viewers in Monterey-Salinas are accustomed to KGO, since it has been imported into that market since the 1950s.

How will Comcast and KGO/ABC react to having this revenue stream curtailed? Or will Monterey Bay ABC continue, with the KSBW subchannel being an exclusive OTA outlet for ABC in that market, but not having exclusivity on cable and satellite?

#5 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 02:24 PM

KGO was never the ABC affiliate for the DMA and is not available OTA. That is why Dish couldn't carry it.

Comcast likely will be able to carry both KGO and the new local affiliate.

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#6 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:50 PM

Comcast likely will be able to carry both KGO and the new local affiliate.


What makes you say that Comcast will likely be able to carry both KGO and the new local affiliate? Also, what do you think that this does to Dish and Direct as far ABC carriage in that market? Right now, Dish is offering ABC distant on KEYT from Santa Barbara, and Direct and Sobongo (formerly AAD) are offering ABC distant on KGO and KABC.

Generally, multistream network broadcasts are entitled to exclusivity protection as of January 1, 2011. The law doesn't make a distinction between multicast streams broadcast in SD and multicast streams broadcast in HD.

#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 03:57 PM

Also, what do you think that this does to Dish and Direct as far ABC carriage in that market?

In other markets DISH carries the subchannel ... or where the subchannel isn't carried (due to retrans dispute) they don't offer any alternative.

Generally, multistream network broadcasts are entitled to exclusivity protection as of January 1, 2011. The law doesn't make a distinction between multicast streams broadcast in SD and multicast streams broadcast in HD.

I agree with your interpretation. Once this subchannel becomes the ABC affiliate for the area then they get to be exclusive and control access to any out of market station (at least via satellite).

#8 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:23 PM

In other markets DISH carries the subchannel ... or where the subchannel isn't carried (due to retrans dispute) they don't offer any alternative.

I agree with your interpretation. Once this subchannel becomes the ABC affiliate for the area then they get to be exclusive and control access to any out of market station (at least via satellite).


I am sad to think that this market will get stuck with a subchannel that may be broadcast in SD and will be broadcasting reruns of KSBW's local news. That is hardly serving the community.

Cable/satellite penetration in Monterey-Salinas is over 90 percent, so virtually everyone was receiving ABC. This is a moneymaker for KSBW, but actually harms the viewers. Other than for grandfathered subscribers, Monterey-Salinas viewers can probably say goodbye to local news from SF and LA, and goodbye to ABC programs in HD.

#9 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:47 PM

I am sad to think that this market will get stuck with a subchannel that may be broadcast in SD and will be broadcasting reruns of KSBW's local news. That is hardly serving the community.

KWYB in Bozeman, MT is an ABC affiliate with FOX on it's subchannel. Both are transmitted in HD with both available in HD on DISH. The same with KFBB in Great Falls, MT (ABC/FOX). (WGXA Macon, GA, is uplinked but not available as an ABC/FOX dual HD.)

Mixing a 1080i and a 720p signal on the same OTA is possible. WGBC (Merridian, MS) is doing it with NBC and FOX. KBTX-TV (Bryan, TX) is doing it with CBS and CW. KTEN (Ada, OK) is doing it with NBC, ABC and a third CW SD channel. There is even a station (KALB-TV in Alexandria, LA) that is doing two 1080i feeds, although most dual stations are 720p (even if downconverted from a network 1080i to get 720p).

Cable/satellite penetration in Monterey-Salinas is over 90 percent, so virtually everyone was receiving ABC. This is a moneymaker for KSBW, but actually harms the viewers. Other than for grandfathered subscribers, Monterey-Salinas viewers can probably say goodbye to local news from SF and LA, and goodbye to ABC programs in HD.

Pretty much ...

Edited by James Long, 21 December 2010 - 04:52 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:54 PM

KWYB in Bozeman, MT is an ABC affiliate with FOX on it's subchannel. Both are transmitted in HD with both available in HD on DISH. The same with KFBB in Great Falls, MT (ABC FOX).

Mixing a 1080i and a 720p signal on the same OTA is possible. WGBC (Merridian, MS) is doing it with NBC and FOX. KBTX-TV (Bryan, TX) is doing it with CBS and CW. KTEN (Ada, OK) is doing it with NBC, ABC and a third CW SD channel. There is even a station (KALB-TV in Alexandria, LA) that is doing two 1080i feeds, although most dual stations are 720p (even if downconverted from a network 1080i to get 720p).

Pretty much ...


So we will have to wait and see if this broadcast is HD or SD. There will be a lot of grandfathered subscribers at first, but the number will dwindle over time. I am also curious to see how Comcast handles the situation. Of course, one would think that ABC took the Comcast cable affiliate into consideration when making this deal, so whether that affiliate will continue or die must be contemplated by the agreement.

#11 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 08:52 PM

Interestingly enough, we were watching KSBW last night and they had a crawl on the bottom of the screen that they are currently renegotiating carriage with DirecTV, and that if they can't come to a contract agreement, they may go off DirecTV. I think it listed January 1 as a cutoff date, but I can't swear by that.

I wonder if part of the negotiation has to do with getting locals onto DirecTV in HD? We're one of the dwindling number of DMAs who do not have locals in HD via DirecTV. As I recall, when locals first started showing up, we were among the last to get them (in SD).
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#12 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:20 PM

Interestingly enough, we were watching KSBW last night and they had a crawl on the bottom of the screen that they are currently renegotiating carriage with DirecTV, and that if they can't come to a contract agreement, they may go off DirecTV. I think it listed January 1 as a cutoff date, but I can't swear by that.

I wonder if part of the negotiation has to do with getting locals onto DirecTV in HD? We're one of the dwindling number of DMAs who do not have locals in HD via DirecTV. As I recall, when locals first started showing up, we were among the last to get them (in SD).


I am aware of that dispute. I don't know the basis for it, but I suspect that KSBW has decided that it is time for DirectTV to launch Monterey in HD, and they may be putting their foot down. If so, I applaud them. Dish has had Monterey in HD for at least two or three years, and is about to take the market entirely HD.

The problem with Monterey is that KCBA (Fox) and KION (CBS) have the same owner, and share the same news team. Then there is KSBW, which is owned by Hearst. It has been the local news leader in that market for over 30 years, and KION has never been much of a competitor during that time. KCBA did not exist until sometime in the 1980s.

So, basically Monterey has two news teams--KSBW, and KION/KCBA. Now KSBW by adding ABC on a multistream states that it is making a contribution to the market by adding its news to the multistream feed. At the same time, it is taking away local news from San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Francisco news is very popular in that market. So the market will soon have four networks, but only two local news teams. That, in my opinion, does not serve the market well.

Many smaller markets may best be served by having two local affiliates, and two distant network imports. Of course, the NAB doesn't care about what it best for viewers or markets. It only cares about having the local stations make more money.

I know that I talk about Monterey, Los Angeles, and San Francisco markets most because those are the markets I am most familiar with. However, I would like to hear about local news coverage and station ownership in other markets.

#13 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:17 AM

This is the problem for Americans who care about their TV stations. But as we die off, the next generation is going to dump the whole works.

Or Congress could ... oh, that's right ... they are not able to deal with the problem because even though the Hearst organization and other local station owners depend on a federal license for ther near monopolistic local interests, they have sufficient power to threaten the reelection chances of the local Congress members.

The best thing that could happen would be to take back those frequencies for some real public benefit. Let the broadcast networks become national cable channels.

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#14 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

So, basically Monterey has two news teams--KSBW, and KION/KCBA. Now KSBW by adding ABC on a multistream states that it is making a contribution to the market by adding its news to the multistream feed. At the same time, it is taking away local news from San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Francisco news is very popular in that market. So the market will soon have four networks, but only two local news teams. That, in my opinion, does not serve the market well.


It's a bit of a double edged sword. I know plenty of people around here who don't have satellite or cable, so this move does, in fact, help those people who want to see ABC programming but don't get any right now.

And, I don't think it will affect cable subscribers, as our cable companies around here are already carrying multiples of the networks (Monterey & SJ/SF), so I would assume (without knowing any of the details of this move) that they'll simply add the new ABC channel and not remove their current ABC affiliate.

For Satellite users, though, you're right, they will lose a current ABC affiliate & 3rd news source in the area.... sort of. On DirecTV, we get the ABC affiliate out of Los Angeles. I the years that I've had that, I never watch the news on that affiliate. It isn't exactly a "local news source", so it's not a huge loss, IMO. DISH, if I recall correctly just added (or is adding) an affiliate out of Santa Barbara. Again, not exactly local.

So... on the whole, I don't think it's all that bad a thing.... if the Cable Companies are forced to remove KGO from their lineup in favor of the KSBW channel, that's a bigger loss, as you are losing a third local news source.
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#15 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:03 AM

It's a bit of a double edged sword. I know plenty of people around here who don't have satellite or cable, so this move does, in fact, help those people who want to see ABC programming but don't get any right now.

And, I don't think it will affect cable subscribers, as our cable companies around here are already carrying multiples of the networks (Monterey & SJ/SF), so I would assume (without knowing any of the details of this move) that they'll simply add the new ABC channel and not remove their current ABC affiliate.

For Satellite users, though, you're right, they will lose a current ABC affiliate & 3rd news source in the area.... sort of. On DirecTV, we get the ABC affiliate out of Los Angeles. I the years that I've had that, I never watch the news on that affiliate. It isn't exactly a "local news source", so it's not a huge loss, IMO. DISH, if I recall correctly just added (or is adding) an affiliate out of Santa Barbara. Again, not exactly local.

So... on the whole, I don't think it's all that bad a thing.... if the Cable Companies are forced to remove KGO from their lineup in favor of the KSBW channel, that's a bigger loss, as you are losing a third local news source.


I believe that the cable companies will have to remove KGO, since KSBW will become the exclusive outlet for ABC in Monterey. Cable currently carries KGO in both SD and HD. Some smaller cable systems in the Monterey market carry affiliates from San Francisco, but most of the market, including the larger cities of Salinas and Monterey, lost the San Francisco affiliates of CBS and NBC in 1992. Now they will very likely lose KGO. Those of you farther north in Santa Cruz and Watsonville may get lucky and keep KGO, but I wouldn't count on it. It is very unlikely that KGO will be retained throughout the bulk of the market. KSBW will want those viewers.

In addition, ABC on KSBW may be offered only in SD. We will have to wait and see. Right now, KSBW 8.2 is broadcast in SD only, and that is the new home for ABC.

On satellite, KGO, KABC, and KEYT are offered by the various companies--Sobongo, Dish, and Direct. KGO is offered in SD only, while KABC and KEYT are offered in both SD and HD. I expect that these stations will continue to be available to grandfathered subscribers, but will no longer be offered to new subscribers. Since the NAB did not oppose grandfathering, the law pertaining to grandfathering in STELA basically allows any legal subscriber to a distant station to keep that distant station indefinitely. However, Monterey will no longer be considered "unserved" for purposes of ABC, so no new subscribers will be able to receive KGO, KABC, or KEYT.

#16 OFFLINE   sum_random_dork

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:00 PM

A bit more info about the move herehttp://sfppc.blogspo...w-adds-abc.html Sounds like there is more to this, remember KGO is ABC O/O. If/how this fits into the Comcast NBC purchase who knows for sure. Maybe Comcast wanted out of the deal because of NBC coming on board? But according to the info I posted KGO (ABC) paid KNTV $14 million to drop it's ABC affliation.

#17 OFFLINE   Sharkie_Fan

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:58 PM

A bit more info about the move herehttp://sfppc.blogspo...w-adds-abc.html Sounds like there is more to this, remember KGO is ABC O/O. If/how this fits into the Comcast NBC purchase who knows for sure. Maybe Comcast wanted out of the deal because of NBC coming on board? But according to the info I posted KGO (ABC) paid KNTV $14 million to drop it's ABC affliation.


At the time that KGO paid KNTV to drop it's ABC affiliation (10+ years ago), KNTV was broadcasting from a location which was basically right on the border of the SJ/SF DMA and the Salinas/Monterey DMA. A significant number of viewers in both DMAs could watch KNTV. KNTV became the NBC affiliate for SF/SJ, and KGO became the only ABC affiliate for both DMAs. I'm sure KGO more than made it's money back in the past decade having no other ABC affiliate in the area.
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#18 OFFLINE   runner861

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:41 PM

KSBW has placed on its website an article stating that the ABC subchannel will start in April. It also states the local news on the station will be a simulcast of the local news on the main channel.

I don't see this as any benefit to the market. Simulcasting local news does not add anything to the market. The Monterey-Salinas market was better off receiving news from KGO, the nearby San Francisco affiliate that also provided local news coverage of the Monterey market.

The other programming that will be on the subchannel, in addition to the simulcasting of the news and the ABC programming, will be reruns of Oprah carried earlier in the day on the main channel. The website does not say whether the subchannel will be in HD or SD, but the current subchannel is in SD.

I don't think that Congress should have granted exclusivity to subchannels, since they really don't add anything to the local market. They do add to the local station's profits.

#19 OFFLINE   MikeW

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:19 PM

The "local" news coverage of the Monterey Bay Area from KGO seems to be overstated. Their weather forecasts occasionally show Santa Cruz on the map and will have Monterey for the week-end get-away forecast. Viewers will lose SF/San Jose news, not news dedicated to the area. Even when KNTV boomed into the area as the ABC affiliate, their coverage was based and focused on San Jose and to the north.

#20 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:21 PM

Wow as I recall KGO was the ABC outlet in the Moterey area. I am surprised they gave it up, or maybe they'll still be carried in that market. As I recall it was something to do with KNTV moving from the Moterey market to the SF/Oak/SJ market, at the time KNTV was the ABC outlet in Moterey. About 6 months after they let go of their ABC affliation KNTV became the NBC affiliate in the SF market because KRON was stupid (Young Broadcasting) and let their NBC affliation go.


KGO secretly forced KNTV to drop ABC affiliation in the late 90's. I've forgotten where I read it. After KNTV lost ABC KNTV became News channel 11.

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