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KBTC logo
KBTC: Tacoma, Washington
KCKA: Centralia, Washington
Branding KBTC
Channels Digital:
KBTC: 27 (UHF)
KCKA: 19 (UHF)
Subchannels .1 KBTC/KCKA-HD
.2 World View
Translators K41KT-D Grays River
Affiliations PBS
Owner Bates Technical College
First air date KBTC: September 25, 1961
KCKA: October 2, 1982
Call letters’ meaning KBTC:
Former callsigns KBTC:
KTPS-TV (1961-1980)
KTPS (1980-1992)
KCKA: none
Former channel number(s) Analog:
28 (UHF, 1961-2009)
15 (UHF, 1982-2009)
Former affiliations NET (1961-1970)
Transmitter Power KBTC: 45 kW
KCKA: 43.7 kW
Height KBTC: 235 m
KCKA: 334 m
Facility ID KBTC: 62469
KCKA: 62468
Transmitter Coordinates KBTC:
47°16′44″N 122°30′42″W / 47.27889°N 122.51167°W / 47.27889; -122.51167
46°33′16″N 123°3′26″W / 46.55444°N 123.05722°W / 46.55444; -123.05722 (KCKA)

KBTC-TV is a public television station in Tacoma, Washington, affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). It broadcasts on digital channel 27, and Comcast cable channel 12. Its offices and broadcasting center are located on the campus of owner Bates Technical College. The property was purchased from KSTW when that station moved to Renton in 2001.

Bates Technical College also owns KCKA analog channel 15 which signed on the air October 2, 1982 and digital channel 19 in Centralia, where it repeats KBTC's programming, and owned public radio station KBTC-FM 91.7 until 2004, when it was sold to Public Radio Capital and became KXOT.

In addition to reaching a local over-the-air audience, KBTC is transmitted to Comcast Cable viewers in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and many areas of southwest Washington.

The station originally signed on the air September 25, 1961 as KTPS-TV and licensed to Tacoma School District No. 10, owned by the Tacoma Public Schools. Previous to that time, KTPS had operated on Channel 62. Bates took over in 1992 and changed the calls to KBTC on October 12, 1992.

There had been plans for KCPQ to produce a newscast oriented at Tacoma and south Puget Sound for air on KBTC. However, as of June 2005, those plans appear to have been abandoned.

KBTC's scheduled programming is digital-only, effective June 12, 2009.[1] However KBTC-TV has continued its analog signal as part of the FCC's "Nightlight" program, running a DTV transition guide.

On November 1, 2009, KBTC began broadcasting in 1080i HD. Due to the increased bandwidth required for the HD broadcast, 28.3 Docs and 28.4 Create are no longer being broadcast.

Local production

KBTC's local production Full Focus is a half hour documentary style show that looks at some of the people, places, and historical events that have helped shape western Washington. The show has profiled the artist Trimpin, baseball legend Fred Hutchinson, the Pacific Rim bonsai collection and has featured many other stories, including a 2006 interview with Sesame Street's Bob McGrath.


External links



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