History

KBTC-TV is a PBS-affiliate television station in Tacoma, Washington.  KBTC currently is housed at the former home of long-time Tacoma broadcaster, KSTW. The property was purchased from KSTW when that station moved to Renton in 2001. It broadcasts on digital channel 27, (28.1, 28.2, MhZ Worldview, and 28.3, TVW) Click here to see a full list of KBTC's viewing availability. 

KBTC also broadcasts as KCKA in Centralia, which signed on the air October 2, 1982 as analog channel 15. It is now broadcast as digital channel 19. (15.1, 15.2 and 15.3)


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 Technical College took over the license in 1992 and changed the call letters to KBTC on October 12, 1992.

KBTC's scheduled programming is digital-only, effective June 12, 2009. KBTC continued its analog signal as part of the FCC's "Nightlight" program, running a DTV transition guide for 30 days after the analog shut-off.

On November 1, 2009, KBTC began broadcasting in 1080i HD from both it's Tacoma and Centralia towers. To provide the best possible signal quality for HD broadcast, 28.3 Docs and 28.4 Create were shut down to ensure the best deliverable signal.

On May 15, 2010, KBTC began broadcasting in 1080i HD as K24IC-D (broadcasting as 28.1 and 28.2) from an additional transmitter on Mount Constitution to the Bellingham, Vancouver, B.C., and Victoria areas.

On June 19, 2012, KBTC added a low power, 1 kW, transmitter on channel 16 to serve Seattle.

KBTC is a service of Bates Technical College.