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KSVI logo
Billings, Montana
United States
Branding ABC 6
Slogan An Evolution in Entertainment
Channels Digital: 18 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 ABC
Translators K25BP Billings (city)
K16DH Miles City
Affiliations ABC
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
First air date January 8, 1993
Call letters' meaning Six VI (the Roman numeral for analog channel 6)
Sister station(s) KHMT
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1993–2009)
Former affiliations Secondary:
Fox (1994–1995)
UPN (1995–2006)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 227.5 m
Facility ID 5243
Transmitter coordinates 45°48′27″N 108°20′27.8″W / 45.80750°N 108.341056°W / 45.80750; -108.341056
Website www.yourbigsky.com

KSVI, virtual channel 6, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Billings, Montana, broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 18. It is owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, in a virtual duopoly with Fox affiliate KHMT (channel 4). On cable, the station is carried on Comcast cable channel 10.

KSVI's programming is also seen on K25BP (channel 25) in Billings, in areas where KSVI's signal is poor. It can also be seen in Miles City on K16DH (channel 16).


KSVI went on the air January 8, 1993[1] under the ownership of Big Horn Communications.[2] The station has always been an ABC affiliate;[2] it replaced KOUS-TV (channel 4), which shut down at KSVI's launch.[1] At the outset, channel 6's programming was also seen on KYUS-TV (channel 3) in Miles City[3] and KCTZ (channel 7) in Bozeman,[4] both of which had previously served as satellites of KOUS. KCTZ was sold to Cordillera Communications several months later to become a satellite of KXLF-TV in Butte[4] (eventually becoming KBZK), while KYUS was sold to Stephan Marks in 1995[5] (originally proposed to become a satellite of KXGN-TV in Glendive,[5] KYUS now simulcasts KULR-TV from Billings). Following the sale of KCTZ, KSVI's programming was carried on translators K26DE (channel 26) in Bozeman and K43DU (channel 43) in Butte;[6] this ended when KWYB signed on in 1996. Channel 6 also, at its sign-on, inherited Billings translator station K25BP, which was originally intended to improve KOUS' signal in Billings (as channel 4's tower is located 18 miles east of the city due to its Hardin city of license).[7]

KSVI added a secondary affiliation with Fox in 1994; this was primarily to carry the network's NFL coverage, but 15 hours a week of other Fox programs,[8] such as Married… with Children and The Simpsons, were aired in overnight and weekend timeslots not programmed by ABC.[9] Following this deal, cable systems in the Billings area removed Foxnet from their lineups.[8] The secondary Fox affiliation ended when channel 4 returned to the air in August 1995 as Fox affiliate KHMT under a local marketing agreement with KSVI.[10] Also in 1995, channel 6 added a secondary affiliation with UPN (it had carried the first season of the network's Star Trek: Voyager on a standalone basis before signing as a formal secondary affiliate that June);[11] this affiliation, which was eventually shared with KHMT,[12] continued[13] until UPN closed down in 2006.

Big Horn Communications sold KSVI to Great Trails Broadcasting Corporation for $17.37 million in 1997.[14] The following year, Great Trails exited broadcasting and sold the station (and its LMA with KHMT), along with WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland and WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Quorum Broadcasting Company for $65 million.[15] Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquired Quorum for $230 million in December 2003.[16]

News operation[edit]

KSVI launched a news operation, shared with sister station KHMT, on April 18, 2002.[17] After 18 months, the newscasts were canceled in September 2003, following Nexstar taking control of the stations in advance of its purchase of Quorum.[18] Though the news operation had won Montana Broadcasters Association and Associated Press awards during its run, it was not successful in the ratings, as KSVI's newscasts trailed KTVQ (channel 2) and KULR-TV (channel 8) by a substantial margin.[19] Nexstar said that shutting down the news operation was necessary to keep the stations profitable.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Johnson, John C. "Montana Radio and TV Photos". John in Arizona. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1994 (PDF). 1994. p. C-41. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ Smith, Doug (August 1993). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 6. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Caton, William F. (September 17, 1993). "In Re Application of BIG HORN COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Assignor) and KCTZ COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Assignee) For Consent to Assign the License for Station KCTZ(TV), Channel 7, Bozeman, Montana". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Caton, William F. (February 27, 1995). "In re Application of Big Horn Communications, Inc. (Assignor) and KYUS Broadcasting Corporation (Assignee) For Consent to Assign the License for Station KYUS-TV, Channel 3 Miles City, Montana" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Smith, Doug (April 1994). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 7. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ Smith, Doug (December 1993). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 7. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Smith, Doug (July 1994). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. pp. 5–6. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  9. ^ Smith, Doug (December 1994). "TV News" (PDF). VHF-UHF Digest. p. 6. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Re: MM Docket Nos. 91-211, 87-8, 94-150, 92-51 and 87-154" (PDF). Electronic Comment Filing System. Federal Communications Commission. July 8, 1997. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ Flint, Joe (June 26, 1995). "UPN extends affil reach". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ "UPN Affiliate Stations (Montana)". UPN.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 1999. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ "UPN Affiliate Stations (Montana)". UPN.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2006. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. June 23, 1997. p. 48. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. November 16, 1998. p. 65. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Nexstar completes $230M buy of Quorum Broadcast". Dallas Business Journal. December 31, 2003. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Falstad Column: Kmart, Penske will close 550 tire centers". Billings Gazette. April 13, 2002. Retrieved September 24, 2015. KSVI, the Billings ABC affiliate, and KHMT, the Fox Television affiliate licensed in Hardin, are teaming up on a local newscast which starts Thursday evening… 
  18. ^ a b Falstad, Jan (September 30, 2003). "KULR sold; ABC-6/Fox-4 drop local news". Billings Gazette. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b Eggerton, John (October 5, 2003). "Nexstar Nixes Newscasts". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 

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