ABC Network finally finds a home in Monterey-Salinas


The transition to digital television has made possible the introduction of network programming to California’s central coast Monterey-Salina DMA. The digital wrinkle allowing the introduction is the side-channel that local NBC affiliate KSBW will use to make ABC available.

KSWB is owned by Hearst Television.

The station brings NBC into the market on Channel 8, and it will use 8.2 to provide it to viewers getting it off-air.
According to a report in the Monterey County Herald, local MVPD subscribers have had access to ABC programming via signals imported from other markets.

The arrangement will bring in prime time and day time programming beginning sometime in the spring of 2011. An exact kick-off date has not yet been determined.

KSBW President/GM Joseph Heston told the Herald, “The digital TV spectrum enables us to bring the Central Coast more great programs and increased choices. The Central Coast has never had a local ABC affiliate. Now we can bring viewers NBC shows, plus the great lineup from ABC.”

CBS, Fox and Univision all have full-power affiliates in the market. ABC represents the biggest hole in the market’s off-air broadcast network choices.

RBR-TVBR observation: Think the television duopoly rules are out of date? Back in 2003, when Michael Powell tried to open them up a little bit, the rules he proposed would have in most cases prevented a duopoly pairing of two major network affiliates. Now in this case, two major network affiliates will be one and the same station. Whether or not you think the TV ownership rules should be modified, you have to admit that the broadcast universe being regulated is changing much faster than the regulations can even be written.