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Tolleson/Phoenix, Arizona
United States
City Tolleson, Arizona
Branding Ion Television
Slogan Positively Entertaining
Channels Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 51 (PSIP)
Subchannels 51.1 - Ion HD (720p)
51.2 - qubo (480i)
51.3 - Ion Life (480i)
51.4 - Ion Shop (480i)
51.5 - QVC
51.6 - HSN
51.90 Starz
51.95 Showtime
51.96 AirBox
Translators (see below)
Affiliations Ion Television
Owner Ion Media Networks
(America 51, L.P.)
Founded December 21, 1988
First air date January 15, 1999; 18 years ago (1999-01-15)
Call letters' meaning Phoenix's PaX TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
51 (UHF, 1988–2009)
52 (UHF, until 2009)
51 (UHF, 2009–2016)
Transmitter power 645 kW
Height 548 m (1,798 ft)
Facility ID 26655
Transmitter coordinates 33°20′2.7″N 112°3′40.7″W / 33.334083°N 112.061306°W / 33.334083; -112.061306Coordinates: 33°20′2.7″N 112°3′40.7″W / 33.334083°N 112.061306°W / 33.334083; -112.061306
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile

KPPX-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 31), is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Phoenix, Arizona, United States that is licensed to Tolleson. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. KPPX maintains offices located on Camelback Road on the northeast side of Phoenix, and its transmitter is located atop South Mountain on the city's south side.


KPPX history[edit]

On December 21, 1988, the Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit to Phoenix businessman Hector Garcia Salvatierra to build a full-power television station serving Tolleson and the Phoenix metropolitan area on UHF channel 51. The construction permit remained inactive for over six years until January 1995, when Salvatierra secured a site license to build facilities on South Mountain, and the station was assigned the call letters KAJW.

In July 1996, Salvatierra entered into an agreement with Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks) to sell a 49% interest of his company to Paxson and to transfer the construction permit and site license to Paxson to build the television station under the new ownership entity America 51, L.P.[1] The station changed its call letters to KPPX in March 1998 to reflect its pending affiliation with the new Pax TV network (now Ion Television); the station first signed on the air on February 15, 1999, broadcasting under Program Test Authority until its license was granted on April 20, 2000. Salvatierra sold the remaining interest in the company to Paxson Communications in November 2000.[2]

On March 12, 2007, during a 9 p.m. airing of an Ion Life rebroadcast of a Tom Brokaw-hosted NBC special, State of U.S. Health Care, a station employee inserted between one and ten minutes (sources vary on the exact amount shown) of a pornographic film into the broadcast. Viewers then registered complaints with the station, the Ion Television offices in West Palm Beach, Florida, local cable provider Cox Communications and the Federal Communications Commission about the indecent content.[3] KPPX promised to conduct a thorough investigation to find the person responsible, and on March 20, the employee found to be responsible was fired, with possible further legal actions from Ion Television and the FCC.[4]

Other Phoenix stations on channel 51[edit]

In the early 1990s, while the construction permit for the full-power station on channel 51 was inactive, the FCC granted a construction permit to build a low-power television station on channel 51. On March 12, 1993, a permit for station K51EI was granted to San Bernardino, California-based Community Service Television Company, but the station was never completed. In January 1995, the construction permit for the full-power station was reactivated, and the permit for the low-power station was discontinued. The K51EI callsign was deleted in February 1996.

Digital television[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[5] Open/Encrypted
51.1 720p 16:9 ION Main KPPX-TV programming / Ion Television Open
51.2 480i 4:3 qubo qubo
51.3 IONLife Ion Life
51.4 ShopTV iShop
51.5 QVC QVC
51.6 HSN HSN
51.90 H.264 Starz Starz Encrypted
51.95 Showtime Showtime
51.96 AirBox AirBox

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

The FCC granted a construction permit on March 1, 2001 to build transmitter facilities to broadcast its digital signal on UHF channel 52 until the end of the digital transition. Facilities were completed and licensed on December 20, 2002. Because its allocated pre-transition digital channel was outside the range of core frequencies designated by the FCC (channels 2-51) – the high band UHF channels (52-69) being removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, KPPX chose channel 51 for its permanent digital television operations, where it would move at the end of the digital transition, which, at the time, was scheduled for February 17, 2009. Although the DTV Delay Act became law on February 11, 2009 postponing the required analog shutoff until June 12, 2009, KPPX made the decision to proceed with final conversion on February 17, which was approved by the FCC.[6]

KPPX-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 51, on February 17, 2009, the original target date for full-power television stations in the United States to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which Congress had moved the previous month to June 12). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 52, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era UHF channel 51.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Purchase Agreement - Channel 51". TechAgreements. 1996-07-31. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  2. ^ "TVs". Broadcasting & Cable. 2000-11-27. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Phoenix TV Viewers See Porn in "Sabotage"". KTAR radio. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ Malone, Michael (2007-03-21). "KPPX Sacks Porn Prankster". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for KPPX-TV". Ericson, Trip. 
  6. ^ "Appendix B: All Full-Power Television Stations By DMA" (PDF). FCC CDBS database. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ CDBS Print

External links[edit]