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Bowling Green, Kentucky
United States
Branding WKU PBS
Slogan Western's Public Broadcasting
Channels Digital: 18 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Affiliations PBS
Stadium (secondary)
Owner Western Kentucky University
First air date January 15, 1989; 29 years ago (1989-01-15)
Call letters' meaning Western
Sister station(s) Radio: W248CF, WKYU-FM, WWHR
Former channel number(s) 24 (UHF analog, 1989–2009)
Transmitter power 61 kW
Height 176.9 m
Facility ID 71861
Transmitter coordinates 37°3′49″N 86°26′7″W / 37.06361°N 86.43528°W / 37.06361; -86.43528
Website www.wkyupbs.org/

WKYU-TV is a PBS member station licensed to and serving Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is owned and operated by Western Kentucky University, and is an arm of WKU's Information Technology department. Its transmitter is located 6 miles (10 km) north of Bowling Green along KY 185, sharing the tower with ABC affiliate WBKO.[1] Its studio and broadcasting facility is located at 1906 College Heights Boulevard on the WKU campus alongside sister National Public Radio network, WKU Public Radio and flagship station WKYU-FM.


WKYU-TV logo from the early 1990s to 2013

WKYU-TV signed on for the first time on January 15, 1989. It was the second PBS member in Kentucky that was not aligned with the PBS-member statewide network Kentucky Educational Television (which has operated a repeater in Bowling Green, WKGB-TV channel 53 (digital channel 48), since 1968); the first was Louisville's WKPC-TV. KET acquired WKPC in 1998. It is one of the smallest standalone stations in the PBS system. After KET's 1998 acquisition of WKPC, WKYU became the only PBS station in Kentucky not affiliated with KET, and WKYU competes with KET-owned WKGB-TV for viewing allegiances.


WKYU-TV's program schedule consists mainly of PBS programs as well as programs syndicated by American Public Television. Its program schedule for the day was previously posted in "Community Calendar" powerpoint slides shown with audio of WKU Public Radio during downtime from 3:00 to 7:00 a.m. CT (11 p.m. to 7 a.m. before 2012). This ended in 2016, when WKYU-TV began to broadcast actual programming 24 hours a day, thus discontinuing the community calendar slides in the overnight hours. .

On WKYU-DT2 (virtual channel 24.2), the Create TV channel features how-to programs and some cooking and travel shows, as well as PBS Newshour, which is broadcast on the DT2 subchannel in order to make room for local programming.

Notable local programming[edit]

WKYU-TV's local programming includes public affairs programs, including these:

  • MainStreet – a look at happenings around the region
  • Outlook – interview show
  • Coach's Corner – magazine-style program involving WKU athletics (seasonal)

WKU sports broadcasts[edit]

WKYU-TV occasionally airs some Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football and basketball games that don't appear on regular over-the-air regional or national commercial sports networks. The games are broadcast under a banner called "Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network," in which WKYU-TV is the flagship station.[2] Select WKU men's basketball games on WKYU-TV under that branding simulcasts the Fox College Sports broadcast, but the audio of the Hilltopper IMG Sports Network replaces the audio of the Fox College Sports broadcast. Some of WKU's games may be shown via Sinclair Broadcasting-operated Stadium's Conference USA syndication package beginning in Fall 2014, hence, WKYU-TV serves as a part-time affiliate of ASN.


WKYU-TV also occasionally broadcasts replays of WKU student-produced 6pm newscasts originating from WKU Cable 12, named "NewsChannel 12," just before signing off and switching to Community Calendar mode.[3][4]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming [5]
24.1 480i 4:3 WKYU-DT Main WKYU Programming / PBS
Stadium (occasional broadcasts during college basketball season)
24.2 4:3 WKYU-CR Create
24.3 4:3 WKYU-WX National Weather Service Weather radar image from Fort Campbell (link) with NOAA WX Radio KIH45 audio (162.400 MHz).

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WKYU-TV shut down its analog signal on February 17, 2009 as part of the FCC-mandated nationwide digital transition, even though the DTV transition deadline was moved to June 12 of that year.[6] The digital signal, which began operation in 2003, continued to be broadcast on its pre-transition channel 18, but through the use of PSIP, viewers see it displayed as virtual channel 24, the station's former analog channel number.

WKYU-DT2 and DT3[edit]

In 2010, WKYU-TV began airing the Create TV channel that is syndicated by American Public Television on their second digital-subchannel, replacing the audio-only simulcast of WKYU-FM, WKU Public Radio. Around the same time, WKYU-DT3 began featuring the National Weather Service Fort Campbell weather radar on the screen, and simulcasting NOAA Weather Radio station KIH-45, which operates on 162.400 MHz on the weather band radio dial. It was also previously simulcast on a fourth digital sub-channel before the fourth subchannel was discontinued in late 2010.

After years of branding as "WKYU-TV" or "WKYU-PBS" for most of its history, it rebranded as "WKU-PBS" in 2013, using the university's logo along with the PBS icon.


In addition to their digital terrestrial signal on digital UHF channel 18, WKYU-TV can also be seen on Dish Network channel 24, and on Charter/Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) channels 11 (SD) and 917 (HD).[7] In Glasgow, it is also seen on South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative (SCRTC) cable channel 24,[8] as well as on Glasgow Electric Plant Board cable channels 24 (SD) and 540 (HD).[9][10]

WKYU-DT2 is also available to cable subscribers in Bowling Green and Glasgow, as well as other areas served by the SCRTC. WKYU's main channel is also widely carried on Mediacom cable in several areas within and just outside the Bowling Green DMA. These include areas of Butler, Edmonson,[11] Hart, and Metcalfe Counties, as well as the northwest Barren County village of Park City.[12] WKYU-TV is also available on via channel 7 on WesternCable, WKU's on-campus cable system available to all classrooms and residence halls on campus.[13]

Out of Market coverage[edit]

In the neighboring Nashville DMA (home territory to fellow PBS member stations WNPT and Cookeville, Tennessee's WCTE), it is available to Mediacom customers in Clinton, Cumberland (including Burkesville[14]), and Monroe counties, and for all SCRTC customers in that cable provider's service area regardless of location. WKYU is also available to Suddenlink cable customers in Logan County (including Russellville [15]). Subscribers of North Central Telephone Cooperative Cable in Allen County and into Macon County, Tennessee, including Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs, is served by WKYU-TV, as well as the respective subchannels of WNPT and KET affiliate WKGB-TV.[12][16]

WKYU is also carried in the far southern portions of the Louisville DMA, including parts of Grayson, Green, and Larue Counties, along with southern portions of Hardin County, including Upton and Sonora.

WKYU is also available in Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties in northwest Kentucky, in the Evansville, Indiana DMA, home territory to fellow PBS member station WNIN-TV), including Comcast/Xfinity in the Greenville/Central City area, and on Charter/Spectrum systems in the Beaver Dam/Hartford area.


External links[edit]