Owner of sole public TV signal in Rio Grande Valley hints at possible sale

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KMBH in Harlingen, Texas, a commercial broadcaster and former public station that carries PBS content on a multichannel, has been off the air since January and might be sold.

The channel provides the only access to public television programming in the Rio Grande Valley, along the Mexican border. KMBH reaches 351,810 TV households, according to Nielsen.

KMBH filed a Special Temporary Authority request with the FCC Feb. 21 to remain off the air for longer than 30 days. The station’s transmitter was damaged by a local electric company constructing a substation nearby, according to FCC documents.

“We are working diligently on getting back on air, and we are reviewing other options,” said Carlos A. Rodriguez, CEO of licensee R Communications. “We have received offers to buy KMBH and we are reviewing those as well as other alternatives we have on the table.”

Rodriguez said the licensee “will notify the public whenever we reach a decision.”

In 2014, after public TV KMBH was sold, PBS member station KEDT in Corpus Christi offered to extend its signal into the Harlingen market.

“KEDT and R Communications did not reach an agreement,” Rodriguez said. He declined to discuss details, citing a nondisclosure clause.

Rodriguez said KMBH offers PBS content “without any remuneration from CPB or the public. We have been doing it from our own funds.” It’s the first commercial station to air PBS programming.

PBS is exploring leasing space from another commercial broadcaster to reach the market, according to Thomas Crockett, VP member affairs. “We’re looking into all options,” he said.

This story was updated to include the comment from PBS’ Thomas Crockett.

13 thoughts on “Owner of sole public TV signal in Rio Grande Valley hints at possible sale

  1. Didn’t the local electric company pay for the damages to the PBS transmitter? If they did maybe there is a different reason it has been off the air. I know it was the best station on the air. Sorry to see it go.

  2. There are A lot of Households here in the RGV area. That Do Not have Sat or Cable. We have Antennas. The Other Carries. Charge way to Much, for their Content. We Can Not afford. And Besides You Have to Be Intown.!

  3. I saw in VMS that PBS was back up and running – what is the channel for over airway/antenna? I tried to find it – no luck.

  4. As of today, the over the air signal for local PBS affiliate in Harlingen Texas, (KMBH TV ) has not been on the air for at least over a week. Sad state of affairs. The local low life politicians could care less.

  5. I am not really so sad to see the KMBH stations go off of the air! The stranglehold the Catholic Church has had on these stations has been a SHAME. They should be ASHAMED of all of the MISERY they have heaped on humanity for HUNDREDS of YEARS! An EVIL CULT through and through. I wish the public KNEW what this group was REALLY all about! They make the Moonies like like a daycare center.

  6. Why on earth has the PBS station been off the air for at least the last month? As of Dec. 2019, I have been unable to find any information on this. A real pain, not to mention unfair to voters, as the Dec. 20th debate is co-hosted by PBS. Is it still for sale by the Catholics? ? Is it true that the station had not been receiving CPB funds?
    I have Spectrum but may buy a cheap TV w/ antennae as I miss this station terribly. And island of reason amidst the chaos. Please, how can one find the answer to this quandry?
    Thank You and Merry Christmas…. !!
    P.S. I may just call Spectrum for answers. Yet 99 to 1, I would bet the customer rep has no idea of what I’m talking about!

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