|Slogan||An Evolution in Entertainment|
|Channels||Digital: 18 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
|Translators||K25BP Billings (city)
K16DH Miles City
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||January 8, 1993|
|Call letters' meaning||Six VI (the Roman numeral for analog channel 6)|
|Former channel number(s)||6 (VHF analog, 1993–2009)|
|Former affiliations||Fox (1994–1995)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
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 Media 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).
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|6.1||720p||16:9||KSVI-DT||Main KSVI programming / ABC|
KSVI went on the air January 8, 1993 under the ownership of Big Horn Communications. Big Horn had previously signed on KOUS-TV (channel 4) in 1980. However, for most of its existence, KOUS was plagued by marginal reception in some parts of Billings, since its transmitter was located 18 miles east of the city in order to ensure city-grade coverage of its city of license, Hardin. In hopes of getting better reception in Billings, Big Horn won a construction permit for channel 6 after the allocation was moved from Miles City.
KOUS signed off for the last time on January 8, and later that day the KOUS intellectual unit--including the ABC affiliation--moved to KSVI on channel 6. At the outset, channel 6's programming was also seen on KYUS-TV (channel 3) in Miles City and KCTZ (channel 7) in Bozeman, 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 (eventually becoming KBZK), while KYUS was sold to Stephan Marks in 1995 (originally proposed to become a satellite of KXGN-TV in Glendive, 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; 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).
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, such as Married... with Children and The Simpsons, were aired in overnight and weekend timeslots not programmed by ABC. Following this deal, cable systems in the Billings area removed Foxnet from their lineups. 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. 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); this affiliation, which was eventually shared with KHMT, continued until UPN closed down in 2006.
Big Horn Communications sold KSVI to Great Trails Broadcasting Corporation for $17.37 million in 1997. 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. Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquired Quorum for $230 million in December 2003.
KSVI launched a news operation, shared with sister station KHMT, on April 18, 2002. After 18 months, the newscasts were canceled in September 2003, following Nexstar taking control of the stations in advance of its purchase of Quorum. 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. Nexstar said that shutting down the news operation was necessary to keep the stations profitable.
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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…
- Falstad, Jan (September 30, 2003). "KULR sold; ABC-6/Fox-4 drop local news". Billings Gazette. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Eggerton, John (October 5, 2003). "Nexstar Nixes Newscasts". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 21, 2015.