Southern Oregon Public Television

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SOPTV logo.png
Medford, Oregon
United States
SloganConnecting Our Community
ChannelsDigital: 8 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
TranslatorsSee below
Affiliations8.1: PBS
8.2: World
8.3: Create
OwnerSouthern Oregon Public Television, Inc.
First air dateJanuary 17, 1977 (42 years ago) (1977-01-17)
Call letters' meaningSYSkiyou Mountains (sic)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
8 (VHF, 1977–2009)
42 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power16.9 kW
Height818 m (2,684 ft)
Facility ID61350
Transmitter coordinates42°41′31.4″N 123°13′49.2″W / 42.692056°N 123.230333°W / 42.692056; -123.230333 (KSYS)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile
Klamath Falls, Oregon
United States
Brandingsee KSYS infobox
Slogansee KSYS infobox
ChannelsDigital: 33 (UHF)
Virtual: 22 (PSIP)
TranslatorsSee below
Affiliations22.1: PBS
22.2: World
22.3: Create
OwnerSouthern Oregon Public Television, Inc.
First air dateJanuary 1989 (30 years ago) (1989-01)
Call letters' meaningKlamath Falls Television
Former channel number(s)Analog:
22 (UHF, 1989–2009)
Transmitter power9.6 kW
Height649 m (2,129 ft)
Facility ID61335
Transmitter coordinates42°5′49.5″N 121°38′2.9″W / 42.097083°N 121.634139°W / 42.097083; -121.634139 (KFTS)
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

Southern Oregon Public Television (SOPTV) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for most of the southwest region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It operates KSYS (virtual and VHF digital channel 8) in Medford and full-time satellite KFTS (virtual channel 22, UHF digital channel 33) in Klamath Falls. Studios are located on South Fir Street in downtown Medford. KSYS' transmitter is located on King Mountain, while KFTS' transmitter is atop Stukel Mountain.


In 1965, Oregon Educational Broadcasting, forerunner of Oregon Public Broadcasting, persuaded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign channel 8 from Brookings to Medford. OEB intended to make channel 8 the third station in its television network, which at that time included flagship KOAC-TV in Corvallis and KOAP-TV (now KOPB-TV) in Portland. Southern Oregon was the only region of the state without public television. However, OEB backed out after a protracted battle with several commercial applicants. The license eventually went to Liberty Television, owners of KEZI in Eugene.

However, Liberty was reluctant to start building a station on channel 8, as the Medford–Klamath Falls market was just barely large enough to support three full network affiliates. The owners of the two commercial stations in the area—Bill Smullin of KTVM (now KOBI) and Ray Johnson of KMED-TV (now KTVL)—helped a new non-profit corporation, Southern Oregon Educational Company, buy the channel 8 construction permit from Liberty. They also pledged payments of $50,000 once the station signed on. Getting the funds to buy necessary equipment proved more difficult than expected, presumably because the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) balked at donating to a non-profit that was backed by two commercial broadcasters.

With the FCC permit about to run out, KSYS went on the air on January 17, 1977 from a transmitter on the JacksonJosephine county line with the strongest signal of any station in the region, at 191,000 watts.

Originally, Klamath Falls was served by a low-powered translator. However, almost as soon as KSYS signed on, SOEC (later renamed Southern Oregon Public Television, Inc.) immediately applied for another full-power station to cover the Klamath Valley. It took 12 more years before that station, KFTS, went on the air in January 1989 from a transmitter just south of the city.

The two stations are the only public television stations in the state not affiliated with OPB, but occasionally air some of OPB's programs. They also carry local, PBS, and American Public Television programs, along with programs from other distributors.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The stations' digital signals are multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
x.1 1080i 16:9 SOPTV-HD Main SOPTV programming / PBS
x.2 480i 4:3 SOPTV-SD World
x.3 SOPTV-OR Create

SOPTV also operates a cable-only channel on Charter Spectrum channel 8 in Medford, Ashland, Klamath Falls, Grants Pass and Brookings (channel 7 in Roseburg), featuring popular PBS programming at alternate times. SOPTV is also available on satellite providers in the region on channel 8. The secondary channel, World, is available on Spectrum channel 192, and the third channel, Create, is carried on Spectrum channel 191.

SOPTV is also one of the partners of The Oregon Channel, a public affairs network. Programming consists of Oregon legislative sessions and other public affairs events. It was previously featured also on the x.3 subchannel, until it was made exclusively available on cable.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

SOPTV's stations shut down their analog signals on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital channel allocations post-transition are as follows:[1]

  • KSYS shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 8; the station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 42 to VHF channel 8 due to problems caused by UHF's severe terrain limitations.[2]
  • KFTS shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 22; the station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 33, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 22. In 2018, SOPTV transitioned from channel 42 down to channel 34 due to the federally-mandated television repack. (Despite this change, most television sets' metadata continues to show viewers receiving channel 8.)


SOPTV is rebroadcast on the following translator stations. Some channels currently broadcasting are not listed in the FCC database.

As of August 2014, all translators below are verified except K02JF Butte Falls and K04KI Merrill:

City Grade Translators:

Repeater Stations:

Service to Gold Beach, Lakeview, Paisley, Port Orford, Silver Lake and Wedderburn is provided by Oregon Public Broadcasting.


  1. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  2. ^

External links[edit]