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Digital: 50 (UHF)|
(to move to 24 (UHF))
Virtual: 51 (PSIP)
Sinclair Broadcast Group|
(sale to Howard Stirk Holdings pending; to be operated by Sinclair under JSA/SSA)
(Sinclair Seattle Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||August 8, 1999|
|Call letters' meaning||UNivision Seattle|
|Former channel number(s)||
51 (UHF, 1999-2009)
|Former affiliations||ValueVision/ShopNBC (1999–2006)|
565 kW (CP)
244 m (801 ft)|
237 m (778 ft) (CP)
|Public license information:||
KUNS-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 50), is a Univision-affiliated television station serving Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, United States that is licensed to Bellevue. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Seattle-licensed ABC affiliate KOMO-TV (channel 4). The two stations share studios and offices with sister radio stations KOMO (1000 AM and 97.7 FM), KVI (570 AM), and KPLZ-FM (101.5 MHz) within KOMO Plaza (formerly Fisher Plaza) in the Lower Queen Anne section of Seattle, directly across the street from the Space Needle. KUNS-TV's transmitter is located on Queen Anne Hill.
On February 10, 1988, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a construction permit for television station KBEH. However, channel 51 would not begin its broadcasting operation until August 8, 1999, transmitting programs from the ValueVision Network, which became ShopNBC in 2001 after NBC (now part of Comcast) acquired a 37% ownership stake in that network. In December 2000, the station would change its call letters to KWOG. Previously locally owned and operated and at one point being minority owned, the station was sold to Fisher Communications on September 29, 2006. 
On October 31, 2006, the station would change its call letters one more time, this time to the current KUNS-TV. On January 1, 2007, it rang in the year by going from broadcasting home shopping programs to broadcasting Hispanic programming as a Univision affiliate almost instantly, providing viewers with programs such as Sabado Gigante, Despierta América and El Gordo y La Flaca, in addition to an assortment of telenovelas, along with many other programs. The station also started its own local newscast, Noticias Noroeste with Jaime Méndez and Roxy de la Torre. The newscast originates from a studio at KOMO Plaza (formerly Fisher Plaza) in Seattle.
On August 21, 2012, Fisher Communications signed an affiliation agreement with MundoFox, a Spanish-language competitor to Univision that is owned as a joint venture between Fox International Channels and Colombian broadcaster RCN TV, for KUNS and Portland sister station KUNP to be carried on both stations as digital subchannels starting in late September. On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KUNS-TV, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group entered into an agreement to acquire Tribune Media—owner of Fox affiliate KCPQ (channel 13) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KZJO (channel 22)—for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune, pending regulatory approval by the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. As KOMO-TV, KUNS-TV's sister station, and KCPQ rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Seattle−Tacoma market in total day viewership and broadcasters are not currently allowed to legally own more than two full-power television stations in a single market, the companies may be required to sell either the KOMO/KUNS duopoly or the KCPQ/KZJO duopoly to another station group in order to comply with FCC ownership rules preceding approval of the acquisition; however, a sale of either station to an independent buyer is dependent on later decisions by the FCC regarding local ownership of broadcast television stations and future acts by Congress. On April 24, 2018, Sinclair disclosed that it would buy KZJO and sell KUNS-TV to Howard Stirk Holdings, while continuing to provide services to the station; KCPQ would concurrently be sold to Fox Television Stations, which would make KCPQ a Fox owned-and-operated station.
Three weeks after the FCC's July 18 vote to have the deal reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties, on August 9, 2018, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell. The termination of the Sinclair sale agreement places uncertainty for the future of Fox's purchases of KCPQ and the other six Tribune stations included in that deal, which were predicated on the closure of the Sinclair–Tribune merger.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|51.1||1080i||16:9||KUNS-DT||Main KUNS-TV programming / Univision|
KUNS-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 51, 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 50, using PSIP to display KUNS-TV's virtual channel as 51 on digital television receivers.
Availability on cable and satellite
"Must-carry" regulations imposed by the FCC require most cable television providers across western Washington to carry KUNS on their lineups. In the past under Equity ownership, the station was not available on all cable systems, as many of these providers were under carriage agreements for the national cable feed for the network, which allowed them control of several minutes throughout the day of local commercial time that would not be available if they instead carried KUNS. Equity traditionally depended completely on must-carry to bring their stations to cable providers, and the same was the case with KUNS before the sale of the station to Fisher. Retransmission consent agreements for providers in the Seattle market made after Sinclair's purchase of the station effectively made carriage of KUNS compulsory to carry KOMO-TV (along with its subchannels), though some smaller systems in communities with a low Spanish-speaking population have been given a waiver from KUNS carriage.
KUNS is available on satellite television through DirecTV on channel 45, and is also available on Dish Network channels 51 and 8624—the network's national East and West Coast feeds are also still available to satellite customers.
Also, neither the station nor the network is available on cable or satellite systems in Canada. This is because the CRTC did not approve the network or any of its affiliates to be aired on cable/satellite systems for Canadian audiences. This was eventually rectified as Telelatino's all-Spanish network, launched on October 23, 2007 with Univision content, was relaunched with a brand licensing agreement with Univision as Univision Canada on May 5, 2014.
Cable and satellite locations
|Cable / Satellite Provider||Service Areas||Package Fare||Channel Position(s)|
|Cable Ready Rebuild|
|Dish Network||Marketwide||Locals||51 / 8624|
|Wave Broadband||Duvall and Eastern King County||Analog||16|
Call sign history
|Call Sign||First Used||Last Used|
|KBEH||February 10, 1988||December 13, 2000|
|KWOG||December 13, 2000||October 31, 2006|
KUNS also has three translator stations, serving the Yakima–Walla Walla–Pasco–Richland–Kennewick market of central Washington. All of these stations are owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group as of 2017.
|Station||City of License||Analog Channel||Digital Channel||Began Operation||Service Area||Effective Radiated Power|
|KUNW-CA||Yakima||2 (VHF)||30 (UHF)||March 4, 1996||Yakima||0.8 kW Analog|
|KVVK-CA||Kennewick||-||15 (UHF)||March 15, 1996||Pasco -
Walla Walla -
|81.9 kW Analog|
|KORX-CA||Walla Walla||16 (UHF)||-||2001||Pasco -
Walla Walla -
|84.8 kW Analog|
At one point, KUNS had a fourth translator, KWWA-CA channel 49, which served Ellensburg. However, its license was canceled on June 4, 2008.
- "Digital Television". Northwest Broadcasters. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
- Sinclair Enters Into Agreements To Sell TV Stations Related To Closing Tribune Media Acquisition
- Fisher Adds MundoFox In Seattle, Portland, TVNewsCheck, August 21, 2012.
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- "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Stephen Battaglio (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion plus debt". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
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- Todd Frankel (May 8, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, giving it control over 215 local TV stations". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings, LLC. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Liana Baker; Jessica Toonkel (May 7, 2017). "Sinclair Broadcast nears deal for Tribune Media". Reuters. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- Harry A. Jessell; Mark K. Miller (May 8, 2017). "The New Sinclair: 72% Coverage + WGNA". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
- Dominic Gates (May 9, 2017). "Current FCC rules bar Sinclair from owning both KOMO and KCPQ — but that could change". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
- "Sinclair Revises TV Spinoff Plans For Tribune Deal, Announces Deals For Several Stations". All Access. April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- Hayes, Dade (May 9, 2018). "21st Century Fox Buys Seven Local TV Stations From Sinclair For $910 Million". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Todd Shields (July 16, 2018). "Sinclair and Tribune Fall as FCC Slams TV Station Sale Plan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- Harper Neidig (July 16, 2018). "FCC chair rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Robert Feder (July 16, 2018). "FCC throws Sinclair/Tribune deal in doubt". RobertFeder.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Benjamin Hart (July 16, 2018). "FCC Throws Wrench Into Sinclair Media Megadeal". New York. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Edmund Lee (July 18, 2018). "Sinclair Tries to Appease F.C.C., but Its Tribune Bid Is Challenged". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Lorraine Mirabella (July 18, 2018). "FCC orders hearing even as Sinclair changes plans to sell TV stations to address concerns about Tribune deal". Baltimore Sun. Tronc. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- "Tribune Terminates $3.9 Billion Sinclair Merger, Sues Broadcast Rival". The Wall Street Journal. News Corp. August 9, 2018.
- Mark K. Miller (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Kills Sinclair Merger, Files Suit". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
- Christopher Dinsmore (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Media pulls out of Sinclair Broadcast merger". Baltimore Sun. Tronc.
- Edmund Lee; Amie Tsang (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal With Sinclair, Dashing Plan for Conservative TV Behemoth". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
- Jon Lafayette (August 9, 2018). "Tribune Ends Deal with Sinclair, Files Breach of Contract Suit". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- Brian Fung; Tony Romm (August 9, 2018). "Tribune withdraws from Sinclair merger, saying it will sue for 'breach of contract'". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KUNS
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine.
- Univision Seattle (KUNS-TV)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KUNS-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KUNW-CA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KVVK-CA
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KORX-CA
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KUNS
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KUNS-TV