From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from KNEW-TV)
Jump to: navigation, search
San Francisco Bay Area, California
United States
City San Francisco, California
Branding KMTP
Channels Digital: 33 (UHF)
(to share with an unknown station)
Virtual: 32 (PSIP)
Subchannels 32.1 KMTP Digital
32.2 Blank
32.4 Blank
32.5 Classic Arts Showcase
32.6 24HR KPOP
Affiliations Non-commercial Independent
Owner Minority Television Project
First air date August 31, 1991 (26 years ago) (1991-08-31)
Call letters' meaning Minority
Former channel number(s) Analog:
32 (UHF, 1991–2009)
Transmitter power 480 kW
Height 517 m (1,696 ft)
Facility ID 43095
Transmitter coordinates 37°45′19″N 122°27′10″W / 37.75528°N 122.45278°W / 37.75528; -122.45278
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KMTP-TV, virtual channel 32 (UHF digital channel 33), is an independent non-commercial educational television station licensed to San Francisco, California, United States and serving the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by the Minority Television Project. KMTP's studios are located on Woodside Way in San Mateo, and its transmitter is located on Sutro Tower in San Francisco.

KMTP airs a large amount of multilingual, ethnic programming. The station produces and broadcasts a daily news show, 5 Day News, and also broadcasts programming from Deutsche Welle TV, RT (Russia Today), and the Classic Arts Showcase. KMTP is one of the few non-PBS-affiliated public television stations in the United States, and one of two such stations in the San Francisco Bay Area (the other being KCSM-TV in San Mateo).


The station on channel 32 began commercially as one of the first UHF TV stations in the United States in 1954 as KSAN-TV, owned by the Patterson family, operators of KSAN radio, showing an amalgam of boxing and wrestling matches, medical conferences, and old movies. KSAN-TV operated a small production studio and broadcast operation housed in the renovated Sutro Mansion in San Francisco. The station went off the air in 1958.

The TV station was purchased by Metromedia in 1968, when the call sign was moved to an FM station and the station rechristened KNEW-TV, to match its co-owned KNEW radio and to compliment Metromedia's flagship station in New York, WNEW-TV (now Fox-owned WNYW). KNEW-TV ran the syndicated Metromedia talk shows and variety programming of such stars as shock-talker Joe Pyne, and others.

This format was unsuccessful, and by 1970, channel 32 was given to leading public broadcaster KQED (channel 9) and rechristened, this time as KQEC, a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). KQED held onto the station until 1988 when the FCC revoked the license, ruling that it had been off the air too long to remain in the hands of the KQED ownership (KQED kept KQEC off the air for most of 1972 through 1977, and then again for several months in 1979-80), and reassigned the license to Minority Television Project, one of the challengers of the KQEC license.[1]

In the FCC's 2016-2017 Broadcast Incentive Auction #1001, KMTP-TV successfully bid to go off the air for a compensation of $87,824,258.[2][3] KMTP claimed in a March 31, 2017, press release, that it was negotiating with other broadcast stations in the Bay Area to share a channel. In FCC filings it claims a Channel Sharing Agreement had been signed after completion of the auction. This may enable KMTP to continue broadcasting but on a different channel. This may be seamless for viewers as they would still tune to Channel 33.[4]

On May 6, 2018, KMTP announced that its channel-sharing deal with KCNZ-CD had fallen through and the station would be seeking a new sharing partner.[5]


In 2004, the FCC levied a $10,000 fine against KMTP for showing paid commercials on a station with an educational license.[6] While it is commonplace for PBS and similar stations to show underwriters' messages that resemble commercials, it is illegal for educationally licensed stations, like KMTP, to show advertisements that do not meet the standards for underwriting announcements.[7][8] KMTP appealed the decision in 2005, but the fine was upheld, prompting KMTP to file a lawsuit against the FCC in U.S. District Court the following year.[9]

In suing the FCC, KMTP felt it was unfairly penalized by the FCC's rules concerning underwriting and not taking into account foreign language broadcasting. A number of independent non-PBS public television stations are in the United States; other such stations include KCSM-TV in nearby San Mateo, KCET in downstate Los Angeles, the WNVC/WNVT MHz Networks group in Northern Virginia, WNYE-TV in New York City, and WYBE in Philadelphia. The underwriting rules do not take into account foreign languages and the variations in pronunciations and meanings. KMTP carried out research to find out what the public interpreted a commercial to be. Using a numerical grading system certain aspects of a video clip were found by the public to "feel" like a commercial or not like a commercial. These findings were presented to the FCC, as it did not depend on any particular words or phrases which can be misinterpreted when foreign languages are used. The FCC rejected KMTP's attempt to clarify the underwriting rules, leaving KMTP with no choice but to take the matter to the courts.

The ultimate outcome of KMTP's lawsuit could have far-reaching affects as it could redefine the very definition of what a public television station is. One of the main points is freedom of political speech, as the current underwriting rules have a chilling effect on KMTP accepting political spots, as they could be interpreted as violating the current rules when broadcast in a foreign language. The Ninth Circuit Court was due to make its initial brief in March 2010.[10]

On April 12, 2012, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two of the issues raised by KMTP's suit. The court ruled that noncommercial stations can air advertisements for both candidates and political position statements. The 1981 federal law was found to be violating free speech. This was a partial victory for KMTP, as it did not address the basic issue of how commercials differ from the sponsorships on which most public stations depend for financial support.[11]

Digital television[edit]

The station's digital channel, UHF 33, is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
32.1 480i 4:3 KMTP-DT Main KMTP programming
32.5 NTD Classic Arts Showcase
32.6 KPOP Loop of K-pop music videos



  1. ^ Friend, Alex (May 11, 1988). "FCC revokes license for San Francisco public TV station KQEC". Current. Archived from the original on July 1, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  2. ^ FCC Incentive Auction Closing and Channel Reassignment Public Notice DA 17-314 released April 13, 2017.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ KMTP Press Release of March 31, 2017. [2]
  5. ^ "Request for Extension of Time to File Construction Permit Application and to Implement Channel Share Agreement". Minority Television Project. May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Appeals court OKs political ads on public stations". 
  12. ^ "關於我們." (Archive) China Food TV USA. Retrieved on January 21, 2012. "”美洲中華美食頻道在舊金山無線KMTP 數碼32.2頻道、沙加緬度無線KBTV8及Comcast有線238、紐約時代華納503頻道和洛杉磯無線KNLA數碼20.3同時播出。"

External links[edit]