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Tiny San Jose Low-Power Station Battles KTVU


The Bay Area is at risk of losing several new television channels with Vietnamese, South Asian, Spanish, Filipino, African-American and other local programming because of a Cox Communications (KTVU/KICU) channel grab. 

KAXT-CA is a low power television station on Channel 22 and has been broadcasting in San Jose since 1990. They have been preparing for nearly a year for the digital TV transition on June 12, 2009.  KAXT filed an application with the FCC in 2007 for a digital channel, and was waiting for FCC clearance to utilize this channel at the time of the DTV transition.

One business day (May 29, 2009) after KAXT filed the final construction permit with the FCC, KTVU, the Cox-owned station in Oakland filed for the same channel, using engineering information that was eerily similar to the KAXT filing with the FCC. Cox claims they need Digital Channel 42 in order to repeat KTVU programming in the San Jose and Santa Cruz area. 

We believe this filing by KTVU is an abusive and greedy channel grab. KAXT’s preparation in developing each of these different channels was specifically in response to the U.S. Congress, years of FCC fact finding hearings, all in line with FCC policy encouraging localism and more minority broadcasters. 

The proposed 22 channels are five times more than any other television station in the Bay Area and the most offered in the nation on any over-the-air television platform. 12 of the proposed channels are video. 10 of the channels are “Radio on Television.”

KTVU’s Public Filing with the FCC

KAXT’s Petition to deny KTVU’s application