San Jose, California
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 66 (PSIP)
(UniMas San Francisco, LLC)
|First air date||November 25, 1986|
|Call letters' meaning||TeleFutura San Francisco|
|Former callsigns||KPST-TV (1986–2002)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
66 (UHF, 1986–2009)
|Former affiliations||Asian Independent/HSN (1986–2002)
|Transmitter power||150 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KFSF-DT, virtual channel 66 (UHF digital channel 34), is a UniMás owned-and-operated television station serving the San Francisco Bay Area that is licensed to Vallejo, California, United States. The station is owned by Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Univision owned-and-operated station KDTV-DT (channel 14). The two stations share studios located at the 50 Fremont Center building in San Francisco's Financial District; KFSF maintains transmitter facilities located at Sutro Tower in San Francisco.
The station first signed on the air on November 25, 1986 as KPST-TV. Founded by Millbrae-based Pan Pacific Television Inc., it originally maintained a part-time independent station format, consisting of a three-hour block of Mandarin language programming during prime time each night and programming from the Home Shopping Network (HSN) filling the remaining 20 hours of its daily schedule.
However from the start, other companies competed for the Channel 66 license, even after Pan Pacific Television was awarded it by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The most fervent competitor was Silver King Broadcasting, the broadcasting arm of HSN, which vied for the license for ten years after the station's sign-on. Shortly before KPST made its formal debut, Silver King announced that it would acquire the license. The deal was stalled for years until alleged improprieties by Pan Pacific cracked open the door for Silver King to try and take over the license. In 1989, the FCC opened an investigation into Pan Pacific Television over allegations that it intentionally declined to disclose its ownership by Chinese investors on its application, in violation of agency rules restricting foreign companies from maintaining an ownership interest in an American broadcast television or radio property higher than 25%.
With the likelihood that the company would have to undergo a hearing by the FCC Commissioner's Board regarding the issue, Pan Pacific also realized that the station was ripe for a possible takeover by other prospective licensees, citing a federal law that permitted minority-owned firms to be able to purchase local broadcast media properties that were under FCC investigation at a discount bid. The company chose to sell the KPST license to Channel 66 of Vallejo, a company founded by veteran media executive Barry Diller (who is Caucasian) and businessman Edward Whitehead (who is African American), the latter of whom held a 51% controlling interest in the company.
However, shortly after the transaction occurred, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC's rules giving preferential treatment to companies owned by minorities to allow them to acquire licenses under agency investigation were unconstitutional. As a result, the FCC rejected Whitehead's application. However, even though the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold the ruling by the D.C. Appeals Court when the case regarding the purchase discounts for minority firms was brought to a hearing in 1990, Whitehead and Diller chose to submit their application to the FCC once again. However, San Francisco-based West Coast United Broadcasting Co.; Arthur Liu of New York City-based Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. and a consortium between Tennessee-based Pen Holdings Inc. and San Jose developer John S. Wong each filed petitions objecting to the sale. West Coast United Broadcasting subsequently filed a competing application to the FCC, in doing so filing a challenge to Diller and Whitehead's argument that they had full rights to purchase the station.
Silver King/USA Broadcasting ownership
The dispute over the license was eventually resolved in late 1995, when the Whitehead-Diller partnership reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum, in which West Coast Broadcasting agreed to rescind its application and allow Whitehead and Diller to purchase the station. In addition, Diller's company, Silver King Communications, agreed to the reimburse the legal fees incurred by the three petitioners (with Wong and Pen receiving up to $268,000, West Coast Broadcasting receiving up to $17,000 and Liu receiving up to $28,960), in exchange for each of the parties dropping their legal challenges.
On February 15, 1996, the Whitehead-Diller partnership was given permission by the FCC to acquire KPST-TV for $9 million (below the station's appraisal value of $12 million). Silver King's involvement in the deal gave the company an additional television station property as Diller had earlier announced on November 27, 1995, that he would acquire the Home Shopping Network and Silver King Broadcasting, which owned HSN-affiliated stations in several other larger media markets. Two years later in 1997, Silver King purchased the USA Network, and renamed its broadcast television subsidiary as USA Broadcasting, as part of a corporate rebranding borrowing from the identity of its new cable channel property.
In June 1998, USA Broadcasting launched a customized independent station format, "CityVision", which infused syndicated programming – including a few produced by sister production unit Studios USA that also aired nationally on USA Network – with a limited amount of local entertainment and magazine programs (reminiscent of the format used by CITY-TV in Toronto and more prominently, that station's sister broadcast television properties that became charter stations of Citytv, when CHUM Limited expanded the format to other Canadian markets as a television system in 2002). At the time the concept formally launched on Miami sister station WAMI-TV in September of that year (later expanding to sister stations WHOT-TV (now WUVG-DT) in Atlanta, KHSX-TV (now KSTR-DT) in Dallas-Fort Worth and WHUB-TV (now WUTF-DT) in Boston), USA Broadcasting had not announced plans for KPST to switch to adopt the format.
Sale to Univision
In the summer of 2000, USA Networks announced that it would sell its television station group, in order to focus on its cable network and television production properties. Among the prospective buyers for the USA Broadcasting unit was The Walt Disney Company – which had acquired ABC in 1996 – which was the original frontrunner to purchase the thirteen-station group (had Disney been successful in acquiring the station, such a deal would have made KPST a sister station to KGO-TV (channel 7), one of ABC's five original owned-and-operated stations). However, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications beat out Disney and the competing bidders in a close race, securing a deal to purchase the USA Broadcasting stations for $1.1 billion on December 7, 2000. But because of the station's joint ownership structure, Whitehead and USA Networks had to sell their respective stakes in KPST to Univision; USA sold its 49% minority interest in the station for $37 million, while Whitehead sold his 51% share for $42 million. The sale to Univision faced opposition from a coalition of Bay Area residents of Chinese origin and San Francisco city supervisor Leland Yee, who each filed a complaint to the FCC over the sale. The FCC chose to approve the Univision acquisition, effectively allowing KPST to form a duopoly with Univision owned-and-operated station KDTV (channel 14).
The week prior to the sale's completion, on May 15, 2001, Univision Communications announced during its upfront presentation that it would launch a secondary television network – later announced to be named TeleFutura (the forerunner of UniMás) on July 31 – that would compete with Univision, Telemundo and the then-recently launched Azteca América. Univision would utilize the former USA Broadcasting stations to serve as charter outlets of the network, which would cater to bilingual Latinos and young adult males between the ages 18 and 34 that seldom watch Spanish language television other than sporting events. Univision, however, continued to maintain English language programming formats on the nine HSN affiliates and four independent stations it acquired from USA Networks for fourteen months following the completion of the purchase, with KPST continuing to air HSN and Mandarin language programming.
Channel 66 officially converted into a Spanish language station on January 14, 2002, when it became an owned-and-operated station of TeleFutura, which initially launched on that date on 18 Univision-owned stations (including eleven of its large-market sister stations under USA Broadcasting ownership); the station accordingly changed its call letters to KFSF (for "TeleFutura San Francisco") on that date.
On December 3, 2012, Univision Communications announced that it would relaunch TeleFutura as UniMás – which loosely translates to "Univision Plus", to underline its ties to its parent network Univision – refocusing its programming to appeal towards Latino males between the ages of 12 and 35 years old. The rebranding took place on January 7, 2013.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|66.2||480i||4:3||KFSF-DT2||Univision (simulcast of KDTV)|
KFSF shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 66, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 34, using PSIP to display KFSF's virtual channel as 66 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
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- "RabbitEars TV Query for KFSF". RabbitEars. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 24, 2012.