KPHE-LD
Channels
BrandingArizona's Family Sports
Programming
Affiliations
Ownership
Owner
KPHO-TV, KTVK
History
FoundedMarch 17, 1992
First air date
July 13, 1995; 28 years ago (1995-07-13)
Former call signs
  • K19DD (1992–1999)
  • KPHE-LP (1999–2010)
Former channel number(s)
Analog: 19 (UHF, 1995–2003), 44 (UHF, 2003–2010)
Call sign meaning
Phoenix
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID168602
ClassLD
ERP15 kW
HAAT487.9 m (1,601 ft)
Transmitter coordinates33°20′1″N 112°3′48″W / 33.33361°N 112.06333°W / 33.33361; -112.06333
Links
Public license information
LMS
Websitewww.azfamily.com/programming/sports-network/
KAZF
Channels
History
First air date
September 26, 2023; 3 months ago (2023-09-26)
Call sign meaning
Arizona's Family, the longtime slogan of KTVK and now an umbrella term for Gray's Phoenix cluster
Technical information[2]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID776273
ERP100 kW
HAAT433.1 m (1,421 ft)
Transmitter coordinates34°58′7.6″N 111°30′30.6″W / 34.968778°N 111.508500°W / 34.968778; -111.508500
Links
Public license information
KAZS
Channels
History
First air date
September 26, 2023; 3 months ago (2023-09-26)
Call sign meaning
Arizona Sports
Technical information[3]
Licensing authority
FCC
Facility ID776268
ERP100 kW
HAAT433.9 m (1,424 ft)
Transmitter coordinates33°3′2.1″N 114°49′40.9″W / 33.050583°N 114.828028°W / 33.050583; -114.828028
Links
Public license information

KPHE-LD (channel 44), branded on-air as Arizona's Family Sports, is a low-power independent television station in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is owned by Gray Television alongside CBS affiliate KPHO-TV (channel 5) and independent station KTVK (channel 3), a grouping known as "Arizona's Family". KPHE-LD's transmitter is located atop South Mountain. Arizona's Family Sports is also broadcast on KAZF (channel 32) in Flagstaff, with transmitter on Mormon Mountain; KAZS (channel 27) in Yuma, with transmitter on Black Mountain in Imperial County, California; and as a subchannel of Gray-owned KOLD-TV in Tucson (13.5).

On the air by the mid-1990s and originally on channel 19, the station broadcast programming from several sources and was also used in a trial of wireless internet broadcasting from low-power TV stations in the early 2000s. From 2003 to 2006, the station broadcast Bohemia Visual Music, a music video service. During that time, Lotus Communications purchased the station, and it relocated to channel 44. Lotus then relaunched the station with Spanish-language programming, some of it local.

In 2022, Gray Television acquired KPHE-LD. On March 1, 2023, the Arizona's Family Sports and Entertainment Network (shortened to Arizona's Family Sports) launched on channel 44, airing simulcasts of most of KTVK–KPHO's newscasts, Phoenix Rising FC soccer, Arizona Interscholastic Association sports, and other programming. Gray owns the rights to Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury basketball, which are aired in conjunction with KTVK and KPHO-TV. Gray acquired licenses for new full-power stations in Flagstaff and Yuma to expand the service's coverage.

History

Early years

On March 17, 1992, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted an original construction permit to build low-power television station K19DD on UHF channel 19 to serve Phoenix and the East Valley. The station was owned by Scottsdale publisher Harlan L. Jacobsen, with transmitter location on Usery Mountain in east Mesa. K19DD was granted an initial license on July 13, 1995, and aired Bloomberg Television by 1996.[4]

In June 1998, Jacobsen was granted a construction permit to operate an experimental broadcast station using the facilities of K19DD to broadcast in digital format. He sold the station to US Interactive LLC in September 1999; the new owners adopted the call sign KPHE-LP. In December 2000, the station became part of a pilot program to study the feasibility of using low-power UHF television stations to deliver wireless data services to subscribers.[5] The Digital Data Services Act pilot project was effective from December 2000 through June 2002, during which time KPHE was unavailable as an over-the-air analog broadcast station.[6]

After the pilot project was complete, KPHE programming consisted of a camera focused on a fish tank. Viewers could watch the fish while music played in the background. That changed in October 2003, when Valley residents Jeff Crawford and Jennifer Harris Crawford leased the station from US Interactive and took over its operations. The Crawfords had been operating a music video service called Bohemia AfterDark since 1982 and launched Bohemia Visual Music (BVM), a 24/7 music video channel.[7]

Lotus Communications ownership

KPHE / Bohemia Visual Music logo used from 2005 through 2006, after the station had moved to channel 44.

In January 2004, Lotus Communications purchased KPHE from US Interactive. The sale was finalized in March, and the station continued to be operated by the Crawfords as Bohemia Visual Music. Lotus had intended to launch family-friendly Spanish-language programming,[8][9] but the station continued to air Bohemia Visual Music. In March 2005, KPHE moved from channel 19 to channel 44, moved broadcast facilities from Usery Mountain to the South Mountain antenna farm, and upgraded its broadcast signal in preparation for future digital broadcasting.[10]

In July 2006, more than a year after announcing its intention to launch a family-focused station, Lotus replaced Bohemia Visual Music programming, first with a mix of music videos, including recorded worship services, and later, with talk shows and other Bible-based instruction. The new programming was branded TV Inspiración. KPHE affiliated with Monterrey-based Multimedios Televisión in November 2006 while keeping TV Inspiración as secondary programming. In February 2007, KPHE announced that it would carry Spanish-language telecasts of Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball home games, beginning with the 2007 season. These were separately produced broadcasts with their own play-by-play, color commentary, and on-field announcers. 50 games a season were aired in 2007 and in 2008;[11][12] original plans called for 75 games in 2009, but the team dropped the deal because KPHE was unable to secure a slot on the local Cox Communications system.[13]

In the 2010s and early 2020s, KPHE offered a constantly changing lineup of programming, primarily in Spanish and/or religious. KPHE had converted to digital broadcasting by June 2009 and was offering four subchannels: its local channel with programming from Telemax, the state TV network of Sonora, Mexico, and Multimedios Television; the English and Spanish channels of the Seventh-day Adventist-related 3ABN network; and infomercials.[14] Other subchannels that KPHE offered at one time or another included My Family TV and Retro TV, both owned by Luken Communications.[15][16] In April 2013, the station became an affiliate of CNN Latino for eight hours a day, also continuing to air output from Telemax and local productions.[17] Eventually, it shifted to airing mostly programming from LATV, though it was announced to air English-language coverage of Arizona Rattlers indoor football for 2021.[18]

Arizona's Family Sports

Arizona's Family Sports and Entertainment Network logo used from March 2023 to May 2023

On March 11, 2022, Gray Television (owner of CBS affiliate KPHO-TV and independent station KTVK) filed an application to acquire KPHE-LD for $1.75 million.[19] The sale was completed on May 4.[20] Lotus had previously reached a deal to sell to Sovryn Holdings for $2 million, which was not consummated, as part of its exit from the few low-power TV stations it still owned.[21] The primary subchannel continued to broadcast LATV. Gray then announced in January 2023 that the station would switch to an independent format as Arizona's Family Sports and Entertainment Network on March 1, 2023. It also announced a three-year deal with USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC; KPHE would air all 34 matches per season, with five simulcasts on KTVK and one on KPHO in 2023.[22]

On April 28, 2023, the Phoenix Suns of the NBA announced an agreement with Gray to serve as the broadcast television rightsholder of Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury games, beginning in their forthcoming 2023 seasons and replacing Bally Sports Arizona. KPHE and KTVK will carry all non-nationally televised games, with KTVK to carry at least 40 Suns games per season and 13 Mercury games per season. Kiswe will also develop an over-the-top (OTT) platform for the teams. The parent company of Bally Sports Arizona, Diamond Sports Group, responded by claiming that the Suns/Mercury deal represented a breach of contract by not allowing Diamond to exercise its contractual rights in violation of bankruptcy law.[23] The CEO of the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, Josh Bartelstein, had previously cited a "goal of wide distribution" for the teams in the face of cord cutting affecting the availability of RSNs.[24] It was also announced that Arizona's Family Sports and Entertainment Network would be broadcast on the 13.5 subchannel of Gray-owned KOLD-TV in Tucson.[25] The part of the contract for Suns games was voided by the bankruptcy court under an automatic stay, while Mercury games were not affected by the court order.[26][27] On July 14, the Suns announced that the Gray deal would go ahead, as Diamond Sports Group declined to match the contract.[28]

On May 19, 2023, the channel was rebranded Arizona's Family Sports.

Additional transmitters

In 2022, Gray Television participated in an FCC auction of new TV stations and paid $4.648 million for channel 32 in Flagstaff and $1.345 million for channel 11 in Yuma.[29] The FCC approved a request from Gray Television to change the Yuma allotment from VHF channel 11 to UHF channel 27 in February 2023.[30] KAZS, the Yuma station, began broadcasting by September 26, 2023,[31] while KAZF in Flagstaff debuted on the same day.[32]

Technical information

Subchannels

The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KPHE-LD[33]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
44.1 720p 16:9 KPHE Main KPHE-LD programming
44.3 480i REWIND Rewind TV
44.4 FidoTV Bark TV
44.5 DRTV-1 The365
44.6 DRTV-2 Infomercials

References

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KPHE-LD". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KAZF". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KAZS". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  4. ^ "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. November 1996. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  5. ^ "Ten Low Power TV Stations Designated For Pilot Program". CongressDaily AM. September 21, 2000. EBSCOhost 19366132.
  6. ^ "In the Matter of Implementation of LPTV Digital Data Services Pilot Project" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. April 19, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  7. ^ Gately, Edward (December 20, 2003). "Tempe, Ariz., TV Station Build Fans with All-Music-Video Format". Mesa Tribune. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  8. ^ Gonzales, Angela (March 9, 2005). "New Spanish-language TV station headed to Phoenix". Phoenix Business Journal. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  9. ^ Cordova, Randy (April 2, 2005). "Spanish TV station to debut". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. E10. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved March 12, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Gately, Edward (March 23, 2005). "Mesa, Ariz.-area music channel will reach across state and into Mexico". East Valley Tribune. ProQuest 460356153.
  11. ^ "D-Backs set to televise 50 games in Spanish: Deal part of strategy to woo Hispanic fans". Arizona Republic. February 28, 2007. p. C6. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Haller, Doug (July 16, 2007). "Hot-hitting Tracy sits out with sore knee". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. C5. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved March 12, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Piecoro, Nick (January 23, 2009). "Team cuts ties with Spanish TV broadcast". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. C8. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved March 12, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Ruelas, Richard (June 12, 2009). "TV stations set to go digital". The Arizona Republic. p. A15. ProQuest 239166439.
  15. ^ Hoch, Heather (August 5, 2014). "Retro TV Brings Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, and MST3K to the Phoenix Airwaves". Phoenix New Times. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  16. ^ "Luken Signs Multi-Network Affiliation With KPHE". TVNewsCheck. July 31, 2014. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  17. ^ Brown, Brandon (April 1, 2013). "CNN Latino debuts in Ariz". The Arizona Republic. p. B4. ProQuest 1322342977.
  18. ^ "LATV Designated as Rattlers' 2021 Television Home in Partnership with Lotus Communications (press release)". OurSportsCentral. February 3, 2021. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  19. ^ "Assignments". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. March 11, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  20. ^ "Notification of Consummation". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. May 4, 2022. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  21. ^ Jacobson, Adam (July 21, 2021). "Philip Falcone's New Venture Snags Another LPTV Property". Radio and Television Business Report. Archived from the original on September 29, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  22. ^ "Arizona's Family announces broadcast partnership with Phoenix Rising, launch of new network". Arizona's Family. January 25, 2023. Archived from the original on January 25, 2023. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  23. ^ Rankin, Duane (April 28, 2023). "Diamond Sports Group accuses Phoenix Suns of breach of contract in leaving Bally Sports Arizona". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on April 28, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  24. ^ Brown, Brandon (April 20, 2023). "Q&A: Suns' new CEO wants to capitalize on NBA Playoffs, land big concerts and shore up TV broadcasts". Phoenix Business Journal. Archived from the original on April 20, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  25. ^ "New network to bring Suns and Mercury games to southern Arizona viewers". KOLD-TV. April 28, 2023. Archived from the original on April 28, 2023. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  26. ^ Kaplan, Daniel. "Judge voids Suns' media deal with local TV group". The Athletic. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  27. ^ Rankin, Duane (May 10, 2023). "Phoenix Suns seeking 'fair resolution' as judge blocked move from Bally Sports Arizona". The Arizona Republic. AZCentral. Retrieved May 13, 2023.
  28. ^ Ourand, John (July 14, 2023). "Gray Television wins Suns, Mercury media rights". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  29. ^ Jacobson, Adam (June 24, 2022). "Here Are The FCC's 'Auction 112' Winning Bidders". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  30. ^ "Report and Order" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. February 24, 2023.
  31. ^ Miller, Mark (September 26, 2023). "Arizona's Family Sports Launches On KAZS Yuma". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  32. ^ Ziedy, Melissa (September 26, 2023). "Arizona's Family Sports network is now available statewide". Arizona's Family. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  33. ^ "Listing for KPHE-LD". RabbitEars. Retrieved September 26, 2023.