KACV-TV, virtual channel 2 (VHF digital channel 9), is a PBS member television station licensed to Amarillo, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Amarillo College (via the Amarillo Junior College District), and is a sister outlet to NPR member station KACV-FM (89.9). The KACV television and radio stations share studio facilities at the Gilvin Broadcast Center on Amarillo College's Washington Street campus (near the intersection of West 24th Avenue and South Jackson Streets), and its transmitter is located on Reclamation Plant Road (east of U.S. 87/U.S. 287, just north of the Amarillo city limits) in unincorporated Potter County. On cable, the station is available on Suddenlink Communications channel 3 in standard definition and digital channel 703 in high definition.
In 1955, the Amarillo Junior College District began producing televised instructional programs for carriage on local commercial television stations in the area to be viewed in school by local college and secondary school students. At its peak, the district was leasing airtime to broadcast 40 hours of instructional programming Monday through Friday each week. The college established its own academic department for radio and television production in 1971, and eventually broadcast Amarillo Badgers college basketball games and other local programs. In 1982, Amarillo College eventually launched a local educational access cable channel on channel 2 on most Amarillo-area cable systems.
After National Educational Television (NET) had many of its functions superseded and assumed by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1970, PBS had maintained an arrangement to distribute its programming to the Texas Panhandle – which was one of the few areas of the state (and the United States, as a whole) that did not have a PBS member station of its own on a per-program basis via the Amarillo market's commercial stations, NBC affiliate KAMR-TV (channel 4), ABC affiliate KVII-TV (channel 7) or CBS affiliate KFDA-TV (channel 10). (Among them, the popular children's program Sesame Street, which was carried locally via KVII-TV).
Viewers in the Texas Panhandle watched PBS programming via cable television via either KERA-TV in Dallas–Fort Worth, KTXT (now KTTZ-TV) in Lubbock (in the southern Panhandle) or via a translator of KRMA-TV in Denver. PBS programming was also available over the air via KWET-TV in Cheyenne, Oklahoma (a satellite of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority [OETA], which reaches the eastern portion of the Amarillo market) or via KENW-TV out of Portales, New Mexico.
The VHF channel 2 allocation in Amarillo was contested between two groups that competed for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s approval of a construction permit to build and license to operate a new television station. Amarillo Junior College District filed the initial application on December 19, 1984. The district underwent an FCC licensure tug-of-war with Family Media, Inc., another group seeking to operate a non-commercial station on channel 2. The FCC granted the Amarillo Junior College District a construction permit and license in 1986. The following year (1987), Amarillo College received a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Commerce to purchase broadcast equipment; the college concurrently raised about $550,000 in funds from the public and local private contributions, enabling the expansion of its studio facilities.
The station first signed on the air on August 29, 1988. It was the first public television station in the Texas Panhandle, making Amarillo one of the last major media markets in Texas to get its own PBS station. Despite the station's presence, cable providers in portions of the Panhandle continue to carry PBS programming via the OETA – which, in addition to its Cheyenne satellite, also maintains three translators across the state line in the Oklahoma Pandhandle – instead of KACV in some areas of the eastern Texas Panhandle.
On September 3, 2013, in commemoration of the station's 25th anniversary of broadcasting, KACV changed its branding to "Panhandle PBS" (removing references to its over-the-air virtual channel).
|TV stations in Texas|
|TV Stations in the Texas Panhandle / Oklahoma Panhandle / High Plains area, including Amarillo|
|Amarillo and surrounding area||Northeastern New Mexico|
|KACV 2 (PBS)||KENW 3 (PBS)|
|KAMR 4 (NBC)||KVIH 12 (ABC)|
|KBEX-LP 6 (Youtoo)||KCVP 34 (GLC)|
|KVII 7 (ABC)|
|KFDA 10 (CBS)|
|KWET 12 (PBS)|
|KDAX-LD 13 (Daystar)|
|KCIT 14 (Fox)|
|KAUO-LD 15 (TCN)|
|K17HI-D 17 (3ABN)|
|KPTF 18 (GLC)|
|KLKW-LD 22 (ESTRELLA)|
|KEYU 31 (TLM)|
|KCPN-LP 33 (MNTV)|
|K45IQ 45 (MTV2)|
|KXAD-LD 51 (Rev'n)|