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Sterling/Denver, Colorado
United States
City Sterling, Colorado
Branding K3
Channels Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Translators 23 (UHF) Kimball, Nebraska
34 (UHF) Sidney, Nebraska
KLPD-LD 28.3 Denver, Colorado
K22JL-D Peetz, Colorado
K39KL-D Akron, Colorado
Affiliations Independent
Owner Newsweb Corporation
(Channel 3 TV Company LLC)
First air date December 28, 1963 (54 years ago) (1963-12-28)
Call letters' meaning ColoraDO
Former callsigns KTVS (1963–2002)
KUPN (2002–2008)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
3 (VHF, 1963–2009)
Former affiliations CBS (1963–1999)
UPN (1999–2006)
America One (2006–2009)
RTV (2009–2010)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 402 m (1,319 ft)
Facility ID 63158
Transmitter coordinates 40°2′1.2″N 103°56′18.9″W / 40.033667°N 103.938583°W / 40.033667; -103.938583 (KCDO-TV)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website k3colorado.com

KCDO-TV, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 23), is an Independent television station serving Denver, Colorado, United States that is licensed to Sterling. The station is owned by Newsweb Corporation. KCDO maintains studio facilities located on South Jamaica Court in Aurora, and its transmitter is located in rural southwestern Morgan County, east of Frederick.

On cable, KCDO is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 649 in the Denver market and is carried on cable providers in other cities across Northern Colorado.[1] The station also operates two digital fill-in translator stations on UHF channel 23 in Kimball, Nebraska and on UHF channel 34 in Sidney, Nebraska; its signal is also relayed on three other translator stations, K39KL-D (channel 39) in Akron, K22JL-D (channel 22) in Peetz and KLPD-LD (channel 28.3) in Denver.


Prior history of VHF channel 3 in Northern Colorado[edit]

The VHF channel 3 allocation in northern Colorado was originally assigned to Pueblo and occupied by KDZA-TV, which signed on the air in 1955 as an affiliate of the DuMont Television Network. Co-owned with KDZA radio (1230 AM, now KKPC), the station received its programming from Denver via microwave relay, employing a relay transmitter located in Black Forest. After only a few months, KDZA's relay transmitter was destroyed in a windstorm, forcing the station to shut down due to the lack of available resources to replace the transmitter or to provide local programming.

KCDO-TV station history[edit]

Star-Chieftain Publishing Corporation, owner of rival NBC affiliate KCSJ-TV (channel 5, now KOAA-TV), bought the channel 3 license and relocated the allocation to Sterling.[2] A short time later, the station was sold to the McCracken family, owners of CBS affiliate KFBC-TV (channel 5, now KGWN-TV) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which returned channel 3 to the air on December 28, 1963 as KTVS, operating it as a satellite station of KFBC.

In September 1999, Newsweb Corporation, operating under the licensee Channel 20 TV Company (CTTC), acquired KTVS from Benedek Broadcasting, then-owners of KGWN, with the intent of making KTVS a satellite of Newsweb's Denver UPN affiliate KTVD (channel 20, after which the Channel 20 TV Company received its name). It became one of very few satellite stations in the United States that predated the existence of the television station that its signal relayed, as KTVD had signed on in April 1988. On January 8, 2002, Channel 20 TV Company changed the station's call letters to KUPN, to reflect the UPN affiliation held by its parent station at the time.[3] CTTC sold KTVD to the Gannett Company in June 2006, but retained ownership of KUPN, converting it into an affiliate of America One.

On July 21, 2008, Channel 20 TV Company changed the station's call letters to KCDO.[3] To increase its signal coverage to reach a wider range of viewers, the station applied to build a new transmitter facility located southwest of Fort Morgan. The new location and increased transmitter power added most of the Denver metro area as well as Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont and Loveland to the station's service area.[4] Construction on the new tower was completed in January 2010.[5] On December 31, 2008, satellite provider Dish Network began carrying KCDO on its lineup for subscribers in the Denver market.[citation needed] DirecTV also added the channel on January 28, 2009.

KCDO affiliated with the Retro Television Network in 2009.[6] The network was previously seen in Denver on KQDK-CA, before RTV severed its ties with Equity Media Holdings. For a time, the station also simulcast KGWN-TV's newscasts for the Colorado side of the Cheyenne market (carried by that station's second digital subchannel), branded as Northern Colorado 5 News, which was co-produced by KGWN and the Independent News Network.[5]

On November 1, 2010, KCDO dropped its affiliation with the Retro Television Network, in favor of converting into an independent station with a focus on locally produced programming.[7]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[8]
3.1 720p 16:9 KCDO-TV Main KCDO-TV programming
3.2 480i 4:3 Grit TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KCDO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 23.[9] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.


Syndicated programs broadcast by KCDO include King of the Hill, South Park, Family Feud, Everybody Loves Raymond, Community and Hot in Cleveland.


  1. ^ "Tiny Station Gets Major Carriage". Broadcasting & Cable. May 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Once upon a time... there was KDZA". News Blab. 2003-05-03. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Call Sign History". FCC CDBS database. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Public Interest Statement". FCC CDBS database. 2008-06-02. pp. (Attachment 1). Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  5. ^ a b La Porte, John (January 21, 2010). "TV station puts up new tower". Fort Morgan Times. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ "KCDO Denver Adding Retro TV Network". TVnewsday. May 7, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009. 
  7. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (October 19, 2010). "Channel 3 expands its local lineup with "Top Teens TV"". denverpost.com. 
  8. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCDO
  9. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

External links[edit]