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CPT12 logo.png
Broomfield/Denver, Colorado
United States
Branding Colorado Public Television
Slogan World View, Community Voice
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Translators (see article)
Affiliations PBS
Owner Colorado Public Television, Inc.
First air date February 22, 1980; 34 years ago (1980-02-22)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1980-2009)
Transmitter power 33.6 kW
Height 738 m
Facility ID 22685
Transmitter coordinates 39°40′55″N 105°29′51″W / 39.68194°N 105.49750°W / 39.68194; -105.49750
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website cpt12.org

KBDI-TV is a PBS member television station in Denver, Colorado and reaches over 80% of Colorado's population.[1] The station, known on-air as Colorado Public Television or CPT12, is licensed to Broomfield, with studios in the Five Points neighborhood just northeast of downtown Denver. It broadcasts a digital signal on channel 13, which remaps to channel 12 (the former analog channel) via PSIP. Its transmitting antenna is located at 3508 m (11,509 ft) on Squaw Mountain,[2] just west of Evergreen in Clear Creek County, which makes it the highest full-power television transmitting antenna in the United States.[1] The station also operates low-powered translators in Boulder and Colorado Springs, and has gained cable viewership on the Western Slope. CPT12 does not yet broadcast in high definition.


Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
12.1 480i 4:3 CPT12-DT Main KBDI-TV programming / PBS
12.2 CPT12+ PBS Encore
12.3 CPT12-WV MHz WorldView

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KBDI-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 13.[4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12.


In 1977, a small group of community leaders formed the Front Range Educational Media Corporation (FREMCO) and applied for the channel 12 license, the other educational license in the Denver market. In 1979, the FCC granted the license to FREMCO and on February 22, 1980, Channel 12 went on the air, initially broadcasting from a garage and using a juice can as a transmitting antenna. The channel 12 slot was originally intended for the University of Colorado at Boulder, but was assigned to Broomfield-based FREMCO when the FCC’s plans for a Boulder-only station fell through.

In 1989, the station moved its offices and studios to Denver, and again in 1994 to its current Denver location in the Five Points neighborhood at the new Five Points Media Center. KBDI purchased the media center outright in 2006.

In the late 1990s, with the station expanding statewide through its network of low-powered repeaters and cable systems, the station phased out its usage of its call letters in its branding and started identifying as "Colorado Public Television - CPT12." Today, the station almost never mentions its call letters on air, except during station identifications.

KBDI is a member of PBS' Program Differentiation Plan (PDP), previously known as the "Beta" group. As the secondary PBS member station for the Denver area, it only airs 25 percent of the PBS schedule.

Topographic issues in a mountainous region[edit]

The station's transmitter is located 16 miles due west of the western edge of the Denver metro area (as measured from State Highway C470 near Morrison). Several peaks of significant height exist between the antenna and the metro area, most notably Mount Morrison (7881 ft), Green Mountain (6856 ft), and Lookout Mountain (7581 ft). These peaks interrupt the clear line of sight from the antenna and create a coverage "shadow" for a significant part of the west metro suburbs, particularly Lakewood and Golden. The switch to VHF channel 13 in June 2009 did not address the coverage shadow, because the antenna location will remain the same. The 40% boost in power will improve digital signal strength to current viewers and it will extend the reach of the station's signal to more distant locations that have line-of-sight access to Squaw Mountain.


  • General Manager: Kim Johnson
  • Director of Development: Shari Bernson
  • Director of Programming: Brad Haug
  • Director of Production: Dominic Dezzutti
  • Director of Marketing & Communications: Pamela Osborne
  • Director of Corporate Support: Paula Roth
  • Director of Technical Services: Mark Seewald


External links[edit]