|Palm Springs, California|
|Branding||Palm Springs CW 5|
|Channels||Analog: 2 (VHF)
Digital: 26 (UHF) & KESQ-DT 42.8
(UHF, PSIP 2.3)
|Subchannels||2.3 The CW (via The CW Plus)|
|Owner||News-Press & Gazette Company
(Gulf-California Broadcast Company)
|Call letters' meaning||The CW KESQ|
|Sister station(s)||KESQ, KPSP-CD, KDFX-CA, KUNA-LP/LD, KUNA-FM, KESQ-AM|
|Former affiliations||The WB (via The WB 100+)|
|Transmitter power||1 kW (analog)
0.325 kW (digital)
50 kW (KESQ-DT8)
219 m (KESQ-DT8)
|Facility ID||130100 (analog)
KCWQ-LP is the low-powered CW-affiliated television station for the Coachella Valley that is licensed to Palm Springs. It broadcasts an analog signal on VHF channel 2 and a digital signal (KCWQ-LD) on UHF channel 26 from a transmitter on Edom Hill northeast of Cathedral City and I-10. Owned by the News-Press & Gazette Company, the station is sister to ABC affiliate KESQ-TV, CBS affiliate KPSP-CD, Class A Fox affiliate KDFX-CA, and low-powered Telemundo affiliate KUNA-LP/LD. All four stations share studios on Melanie Place in Palm Desert. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 5 hence the Palm Springs CW 5 branding.
Televisions with digital tuners can view KCWQ-LP on KESQ's eighth digital subchannel that is identified on-air via PSIP as 2.3. This is unlike most subchannels that officially identify with a physical digital channel. With the switch to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009, KCWQ had a construction permit to build a low-powered digital signal of its own. Originally, the station was a WB affiliate as part of the cable-only WB 100+ operation. As such, it used the "KCWB" call sign in a fictional manner.
Between The CW launch on September 18, 2006 and April 21, 2007, KCWQ (and the network) was not available to Time Warner Cable systems in the Coachella Valley due to a carriage dispute. As the station was launched over-the-air, the News-Press & Gazette Company explained that they had requested the station be assigned KCWB's cable designation (channel 5) and came to several agreements to that effect with the local Time Warner Cable office. They were then all successively vetoed by the cable company's head office in Stamford, Connecticut.
Interestingly, The CW is half owned by the cable system's parent company, Time Warner. Thus, by blocking cable carriage for the network in this market, the company was ostensibly hurting itself. Without an agreement in place, News-Press & Gazette was suggesting cable subscribers wishing to watch The CW use an over-the-air antenna and tune to VHF channel 2. The company also pointed out that the channel is available on Dish Network. Instead of KCWQ and The CW, Time Warner Cable substituted Classic Arts Showcase on channel 5. In the early days of the dispute, Time Warner also ran a ticker that explained the problem:
- The CW Network is not available at this time. Despite continued talks, we have not been able to reach an agreement for carriage of this network. We will continue to negotiate and remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon.
In April 2007, News-Press & Gazette and Time Warner reached an agreement that would finally add KCWQ to the cable line-up on channel 5 effective 12:01 in the morning on April 21.
- KCWQ-LP/LD "Palm Springs CW 5"
- KESQ-DT "NewsChannel 3 HD"
- KUNA-LP/LD "Telemundo 15"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KCWQ