Start relearning that remote control.
In September, you’ll be hitting Channel 9 instead of Channel 12 to see prime-time shows such as “Glee,” “House” and “American Dad.”
Fox Broadcasting Company has cut a deal with Journal Broadcast Group, which owns KNIN Channel 9, to make that channel the new Fox affiliate in the Treasure Valley. It will be known as Fox9.
Channel 9 currently is the area’s CW affiliate. That agreement ends in late August. Fox9 will operate out of the same Nampa offices that now house KNIN's news, sales, marketing, engineering and management team, according to Fox.
For years, Fox has mandated that its affiliates run a local evening news program. It's not clear how that will work here. Maybe Journal Broadcast Group will air something from its news team at KIVI Channel 6; it's already doing that on KNIN Channel 9. Or maybe it will have to hire new talent for news on Fox9.
Whatever the case, this is unusual. You just don't see Fox and another of the big broadcast networks — NBC, ABC, CBS — co-owned in the same market.
Channel 9 currently broadcasts CW network programming in HD over-the-air and offers it to local satellite and cable providers. Cable One carries it in HD, but DirecTV and Dish do not. Journal Broadcast Group "will be working with (the satellite providers) to encourage them to carry 9.1 in full HD for their customers," according to Jim Thomas, Journal Broadcast Group's marketing VP.
But there's no guarantee they will. I strongly SUSPECT they will — DirecTV and Dish customers will be irate if they don't get Fox network programming in HD, especially during NFL season — but there has not been any announcement.
"I can't speak for them," Thomas said, "but I think they are going to listen to their customers."
(Conversely, does this mean that KTRV Channel 12 — which has made a big deal out of its local HD newscast — is in jeopardy of being dropped back to SD by these providers, who will be looking to save bandwidth?)
What exactly does this all mean for KTRV? Well, perhaps it could become the new CW affiliate — or it could go independent.
What is the fate of the KTRV Channel 12 news team? No idea. I have a call in to KTRV president Ricky Joseph, but it hasn't been returned.
Update: KTRV president Ricky Joseph says that Channel 12 has several options, which the station will explore. He also says the station's local news not only won't go away — they plan to expand it this fall.
In an email, he added: "We are working on all of the above to ensure that we provide the best product to the Treasure Valley viewers."
Although KTRV is no longer under contract with Fox, there are no plans for Channel 12 to drop Fox network programming prior to September, Joseph said.