KUAT-TV (also known as PBS 6 is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member Public television station in Tucson, Arizona, United States. Owned by the Arizona Board of Regents and operated by the University of Arizona, it broadcasts from the facilities of Arizona Public Media, located on campus in the Modern Languages Building. KUAT's transmitter is located on Mount Bigelow and broadcasts in digital on UHF channel 30. The station can be seen in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix under the right conditions.

KUAT-TV's audio signal was heard on 87.75 MHz until March 31, 2009.

The station operates a full-time satellite, KUAS-TV, which covers northwest Tucson and the communities west of Mount Lemmon that are shielded from the KUAT signal. Its transmitter is located on Tumamoc Hill, west of downtown Tucson, broadcasting in digital on UHF channel 28. KUAT is also rebroadcast on translator station K20GG-D in Duncan, Arizona.

History[edit | edit source]

KUAT-TV launched on March 8, 1959 as the first public television station in Arizona. It was an affiliate of National Educational Television (NET), forerunner to PBS, from 1959 through 1970, when PBS replaced NET.

Like the other stations in the Mount Bigelow tower farm, KUAT-TV is barely viewable in much of northwest Tucson and areas west of Mount Lemmon (even though its coverage area should theoretically include most of southern Arizona). The Santa Catalina Mountains abruptly end with a steep drop-off in Oro Valley, a Tucson suburb, and communities near the mountain are shielded by terrain from the signal. As a result, much of this area only got a grade B ("rimshot") signal from KUAT-TV until the arrival of cable television in Tucson in the 1970s.

Eventually, the U of A activated Tucson's second noncommercial license on UHF channel 27, and opened KUAS as a satellite of KUAT. The construction permit was granted on July 25, 1985, and after two failed attempts, the station went on the air on July 22, 1988 under Program Test Authority, and was licensed on December 20.

In July 2003, the Aspen fire interrupted the KUAT transmitter's remote control system. The station was forced to remain off the air, instead of signing on in the morning, as it could not restart its transmitter. Operations on KUAS and cable distribution were unaffected.

Both stations were granted construction permits to build digital facilities in August 2001, and both signed on in February 2003. KUAT-DT received Special Temporary Authorization to operate at reduced power the same month. KUAS-DT was licensed on June 5, 2003, and KUAT-DT received a license for its full facilities on September 23, 2004.


TV stations in Arizona
KAET, Phoenix

KUAT/KUAS, Tucson

TV stations in Tucson, Arizona
KFTU 3 (UMás)
KVOA 4 (NBC)
KUAT 6 (PBS)
KGUN 9 (ABC)
KMSB 11 (Fox)
KOLD 13 (CBS)
KUDF-LP 14 (AZA)
KTTU 18 (MNTV)
K35OU-D 21 (HSN)
KUAS 6 (PBS)
KPCE-LP 29 (Daystar)
KHRR 40 (TLM)
KUVE 46 (UNI)
KWBA 58 (CW)
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