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KACV-TV Panhandle PBS logo.png
Amarillo, Texas
United States
ChannelsDigital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
BrandingPanhandle PBS
SloganWe Live Here
OwnerAmarillo College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
Radio: KACV-FM
First air date
August 29, 1988 (32 years ago) (1988-08-29)
Former channel number(s)
2 (VHF, 1988–2009)
8 (VHF, until ????)
Call sign meaning
Amarillo College Voice
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID1236
ERP30 kW
HAAT398 m (1,306 ft)
Transmitter coordinates35°22′29.7″N 101°52′57.3″W / 35.374917°N 101.882583°W / 35.374917; -101.882583
Translator(s)See below
Public license information

KACV-TV, virtual channel 2 (VHF digital channel 9), branded on-air as Panhandle PBS, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Amarillo, Texas, United States. Owned by Amarillo College (via the Amarillo Junior College District), it is sister to National Public Radio (NPR) member station KACV-FM (89.9). The two outlets share studios at the Gilvin Broadcast Center on Amarillo College's Washington Street campus (near the intersection of West 24th Avenue and South Jackson Streets[1]); KACV-TV's transmitter is located west of US 87287 in unincorporated Potter County. On cable, the station is available on Suddenlink Communications channel 3 in both standard and high definition.[2]


Previous KACV-TV logo, used from 1999 to 2008.

In 1955, the Amarillo Junior College District began producing televised instructional programs for carriage on local commercial television stations in the area to be viewed in school by local college and secondary school students. At its peak, the district was leasing airtime to broadcast 40 hours of instructional programming Monday through Friday each week. The college established its own academic department for radio and television production in 1971, and eventually broadcast Amarillo Badgers college basketball games and other local programs. In 1982, Amarillo College eventually launched a local educational access cable channel on channel 2 on most Amarillo-area cable systems.

After National Educational Television (NET) had many of its functions superseded and assumed by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1970, PBS had maintained an arrangement to distribute its programming to the Texas Panhandle – which was one of the few areas of the state (and the United States, as a whole) that did not have a PBS member station of its own on a per-program basis via the Amarillo market's commercial stations, NBC affiliate KAMR-TV (channel 4), ABC affiliate KVII-TV (channel 7) or CBS affiliate KFDA-TV (channel 10). (Among them, the popular children's program Sesame Street, which was carried locally via KVII-TV).

Former KACV-TV logo, used from 2013 to 2017.

Viewers in the Texas Panhandle watched PBS programming via cable television via either KTXT (now KTTZ-TV) in Lubbock (in the southern Panhandle) or via a translator of KRMA-TV in Denver. PBS programming was also available over the air via KWET-TV in Cheyenne, Oklahoma (a satellite of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority [OETA], which reaches the eastern portion of the Amarillo market) or via KENW-TV out of Portales, New Mexico.

Former KACV-TV logo, used from 2017 to November 4, 2019.

The VHF channel 2 allocation in Amarillo was contested between two groups that competed for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s approval of a construction permit to build and license to operate a new television station. Amarillo Junior College District filed the initial application on December 19, 1984.[3] The district underwent an FCC licensure tug-of-war with Family Media, Inc., another group seeking to operate a non-commercial station on channel 2. The FCC granted the Amarillo Junior College District a construction permit and license in 1986. The following year (1987), Amarillo College received a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Commerce to purchase broadcast equipment; the college concurrently raised about $550,000 in funds from the public and local private contributions, enabling the expansion of its studio facilities.

The station first signed on the air on August 29, 1988. It was the first public television station in the Texas Panhandle, making Amarillo one of the last major media markets in Texas to get its own PBS station. Despite the station's presence, cable providers in portions of the Panhandle continue to carry PBS programming via the OETA – which, in addition to its Cheyenne satellite, also maintains three translators across the state line in the Oklahoma Pandhandle – instead of KACV in some areas of the eastern Texas Panhandle.

On September 3, 2013, in commemoration of the station's 25th anniversary of broadcasting, KACV changed its branding to "Panhandle PBS" (removing references to its over-the-air virtual channel).[4][5]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Programming
Video Aspect PSIP
Programming description[6]
2.1 KACV-TV Panhandle PBS logo.png
Panhandle PBS
1080i 16:9 KACV-HD KACV's main programming schedule; downcoverted to a 4:3 format (with high-definition content letterboxed to maintain their original aspect ratio) for cable and satellite viewers who receive the station's standard-definition feed. Unlike its digital subchannels, the main KACV feed does not provide a second audio program (SAP) channel to transmit Descriptive Video Service or alternate language audio feeds of certain PBS and American Public Television-syndicated programs due to technical limitations with Dolby Digital audio channels in the ATSC 1.0 format.
PBS Kids 24/7
480i 4:3 KACV-SD Airs the full schedule of PBS Kids 24/7 (of which KACV-DT2 became an affiliate on January 13, 2017), with programs that fulfill educational programming guidelines defined by the Children's Television Act. All PBS Kids Channel programming carried on KACV-DT2 are transmitted in anamorphic 4:3 standard definition (with widescreen content being vertically compressed to fit the aspect ratio, and archive programs originally produced in the 4:3 format presented with compressed pillarboxing) due to technical limitations which prevent it from being presented in 16:9.

KACV-DT2 originally launched in August 2004 as a dedicated high definition channel serving as a supplement to the main analog simulcast. (KACV was the first television station in the Amarillo market to transmit content in high definition.) It converted into an affiliate of V-me on March 1, 2009; KACV-DT2 would remain with the Spanish language educational network until March 30, 2017, when V-me transitioned into an advertiser-supported cable- and satellite-exclusive service, resulting in V-me disbanding from its over-the-air affiliates (including KACV-DT2).

2.3 Create TV network logo.svg
KACV-CR Airs the full schedule of Create (of which KACV-DT3 affiliated when the subchannel launched on January 1, 2018), carrying the network's how-to, cooking, art, travel and lifestyle programs from American Public Television and other distributors.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KACV began transmitting a digital television signal on VHF channel 8 in 2002. The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which Congress later pushed back to June 12, 2009 by resolution three weeks before all full-power stations were scheduled to transition). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 8, using PSIP to display KACV's virtual channel as its pre-transition VHF analog channel 2 on digital television receivers.[7]


In addition to maintaining cable carriage within this area, KACV-TV covers a large portion of the Texas Panhandle through a network of ten UHF translators that distribute its programming beyond the 67.6-mile-wide (108.8 km) range corridor of its broadcast signal (all translators transmit on virtual channel 2 and, unless otherwise noted, are owned by Amarillo Junior College):

List of KACV-TV translators
Station City of license Channels
Owner First air date
Facility ID Transmitter
K23EC-D Canadian, Texas 23 (UHF) C. L. & O. Translator System, Inc. 1994 (27 years ago) (1994) K23EC (1994–2010) N/A 0.585 kW 165 m (541 ft) 8013 36°3′59″N 100°20′59″W / 36.06639°N 100.34972°W / 36.06639; -100.34972 (K23EC-D)
K21IR-D Childress, Texas 21 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
2007 (14 years ago) (2007) N/A N/A 0.25 kW 159 m (522 ft) 168102 34°26′29.5″N 100°14′16.9″W / 34.441528°N 100.238028°W / 34.441528; -100.238028 (K21IR-D)
K17DS-D Clarendon, Texas 17 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
1994 (27 years ago) (1994) K17DS (1994–2009) N/A 0.51 kW 148 m (486 ft) 1237 34°54′11″N 100°55′49″W / 34.90306°N 100.93028°W / 34.90306; -100.93028 (K17DS-D)
K47BP-D Follett, Texas 47 (UHF) C. L. & O. Translator System, Inc. 1986 (35 years ago) (1986) K47BP (1986–2012) N/A 0.25 kW 132 m (433 ft) 25985 36°22′24″N 100°16′1″W / 36.37333°N 100.26694°W / 36.37333; -100.26694 (K47BP-D)
K36KL-D Gruver, Texas 36 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
2010 (11 years ago) (2010) N/A N/A 0.42 kW 132 m (433 ft) 25985 36°14′44″N 101°22′58″W / 36.24556°N 101.38278°W / 36.24556; -101.38278 (K36KL-D)
K44AK-D Memphis, Texas 44 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
1981 (40 years ago) (1981) K44AK (1988–2010) N/A 0.46 kW 183 m (600 ft) 14639 34°48′18″N 100°36′13″W / 34.80500°N 100.60361°W / 34.80500; -100.60361 (K44AK-D)
K47GM-D New Mobeetie, Texas 47 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
2001 (20 years ago) (2001) K47GM (2001–2010) N/A 0.478 kW 129 m (423 ft) 72162 35°35′53″N 100°30′43″W / 35.59806°N 100.51194°W / 35.59806; -100.51194 (K47GM-D)
K36MA-D Perryton, Texas 36 (UHF) C. L. & O. Translator System, Inc. 2012 (9 years ago) (2012) K62DD (1988–2012) Analog:
62 (UHF; 1988–2012)
0.25 kW 123 m (404 ft) 8007 36°7′4″N 100°48′9″W / 36.11778°N 100.80250°W / 36.11778; -100.80250 (K36MA-D)
K35EM-D Quitaque, Texas 35 (UHF) Amarillo Junior College
(Amarillo Junior College District)
1994 (27 years ago) (1994) K35EM (1994–2009) N/A 0.51 kW 141 m (463 ft) 1238 34°24′1.2″N 101°7′12.5″W / 34.400333°N 101.120139°W / 34.400333; -101.120139 (K35EM-D)
K34KO-D Tulia, Texas 34 (UHF) City of Tulia 2004 (17 years ago) (2004) K55JV (2004–2011) Analog:
55 (UHF; 2004–2011)
0.464 kW 78 m (256 ft) 125458 34°32′12″N 101°44′27″W / 34.53667°N 101.74083°W / 34.53667; -101.74083 (K34KO-D)


As a PBS member station, much of KACV-TV's programming consists of educational, children's and entertainment programming distributed by PBS to its member stations as well as content from American Public Television and various other distributors. The station's programming schedule also consists of cultural and educational programs, documentaries and general interest programming. While there is some cross-promotion between KACV-TV and KACV-FM, the two properties conduct pledge drives independent of one another. The station has also produced some local programming including artZONE, and the documentaries A Conversation with Ken Burns and Braggin' Rights: The Coors Cowboy Club Ranch Rodeo.

KACV's weekday lineup is mostly filled by children's programs from PBS and American Public Television (such as Arthur, Curious George, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad and Sesame Street) from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Programs provided by PBS are primarily shown on most nights in prime time except for Saturdays, which instead features a mix of music, documentary and British drama content from American Public Television. Weekends feature additional children's programming in the morning (from 5:00 to 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Sundays), with the remainder of the schedule outside of prime time consisting of travel, cooking and how-to series on Saturdays, and art instruction, British sitcoms, encores of PBS prime time shows and some local programs.

From the station's sign-on until January 2009, the station's broadcast transmitter was typically turned off during the overnight hours (generally from 12:00 to 5:00 a.m.). In order to fill time until the station resumed broadcasts each morning, from 1995 to 2008, Amarillo-area cable providers carried the PBS Satellite Service over KACV's assigned channel slots during the designated sign-off-to-sign-on period. (Until the station adopted such a schedule in January 2009, KACV was one of the few remaining broadcast television outlets in the United States that had not converted to a 24-hour-a-day schedule.) Beforehand, many other cable providers around the Amarillo market carried other lower-priority cable networks that limited headend frequency space precluded from assigning them to a separate full-time channel over KACV's channel slots as filler during overnight/early morning time periods during the broadcast signal's off-air period.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amarillo College Campus Map - Washington Street Campus". Amarillo College. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Cable and Translators". KACV-TV. Amarillo College. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "For the Record" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications, Inc. January 19, 1984. p. 132. Retrieved August 2, 2018 – via World Radio History.
  4. ^ "KACV-TV is Celebrating 25 Years of Affiliation with PBS". KACV-TV (Press release). Amarillo College. September 3, 2013.
  5. ^ "PBS station changes name". Amarillo Globe-News. Morris Communications. November 3, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  6. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KACV". RabbitEars. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2012.

External links[edit]