KUTP, virtual channel 45 (UHFdigital channel 26), is a MyNetworkTVowned-and-operatedtelevision station located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, as part of a duopoly with Fox owned-and-operated station KSAZ-TV (channel 10). The two stations share studio facilities located on the west end of Downtown Phoenix's Copper Square district; KUTP's transmitter is located atop South Mountain on the city's south side. KUTP's signal is relayed across northern Arizona through a small network of six translators. The station is also carried on channel 9 on Cox Communications and most other Phoenix area cable systems.

History

The station was granted an original construction permit on December 20, 1984; KUTP first signed on the air on December 23, 1985, operating as an independent station. It was originally owned by the Chris-Craft Industries subsidiary United Television. The station originally operated from studio facilities located on South 33rd Street in Phoenix. It ran a general entertainment format consisting of cartoons, drama series and older movies. It eventually added off-network sitcoms, as well as first-run talk and reality shows. The station was granted its initial license on November 17, 1986, over ten months after beginning operations. KUTP was the only television station that was built and signed on by Chris-Craft.[2]

Under United Television ownership, the station carried programming from the Prime Time Entertainment Network programming service from January 1993 to January 1995.[3] In the fall of 1994, United Television and Paramount Pictures announced the formation of the United Paramount Network, lining up independent stations that were owned by both companies at the time as charter affiliates. KUTP affiliated with UPN upon the network's January 16, 1995 debut, becoming the first English-language station in the market to be owned by a commercial broadcast network (KTVW, channel 33, was the first network-owned station in the market, having been owned by Univision since 1977 when it was known as the Spanish International Network).

In the wake of a four-way affiliation switch spurred by New World Communications' affiliation agreement with Fox in 1994[4] that saw KSAZ-TV (channel 10) switch from CBS to Fox, KNXV-TV (channel 15) from Fox to ABC, KTVK (channel 3) lose its ABC affiliation and become independent (before briefly affiliating with The WB in 1995) and independent KPHO-TV (channel 5) gain an affiliation with CBS, KUTP picked up several sitcoms that KNXV had no room for on its schedule due to its new ABC-heavy programming schedule. As a UPN station, KUTP also began to incorporate more syndicated first-run talk and reality shows. The station was featured in the 1995 feature film Waiting to Exhale as the workplace of Whitney Houston's character Savannah Jackson.

In 2000, Viacom bought Chris-Craft's 50% ownership interest in UPN (which Chris-Craft had wholly owned, until Viacom acquired a stake in the network in 1996); the deal effectively stripped KUTP of its status as one of the network's owned-and-operated stations in the process. On August 12 of that year, Chris-Craft sold its UPN stations to the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of News Corporation for $5.5 billion;[5] this resulted in the creation of a duopoly with Fox-owned KSAZ when the deal was finalized on July 31, 2001 (both KSAZ and KUTP are currently the only English-language stations in the Phoenix market that are owned by a commercial broadcast network). KUTP merged its operations with KSAZ into that station's studio facilities on West Adams Street.

From UPN to MyNetworkTV

On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would shut down UPN and The WB and combine the networks' respective programming to create a new jointly owned broadcast network called The CW.[6][7]KASW (channel 61, which had been a WB affiliate since it signed on in September 1995) was announced as The CW's Phoenix affiliate on March 8, through an affiliation agreement with the station's then-owner Belo.[8]

Shortly after the announcement of The CW's pending launch, Fox Television Stations immediately dropped all network branding from its UPN affiliates (all of whom also stopped promoting the network's programming), in response to being left off the initial list of The CW's charter affiliates in favor of stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting and CBS Television Stations. In particular, KUTP changed its on-air branding from "UPN 45" to "PHX 45". with KUTP and the other Fox-owned UPN affiliates signed on as a charter affiliates. News Corporation then announced the creation of its own secondary network, MyNetworkTV, one month later on February 22, 2006, which was created as a competitor of The CW as well as to give UPN and WB stations that were not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates another option besides converting to independent stations.[9][10] With the impending switch to MyNetworkTV, KUTP's on-air branding was changed to "My45" in June 2006.

Despite MyNetworkTV's announced launch date of September 5, 2006, UPN continued to broadcast its programming on its affiliated stations across the United States until September 15, 2006. While some UPN affiliates that switched to MyNetworkTV aired the final two weeks of UPN programming outside their regular primetime slots, the Fox-owned stations, including KUTP, dropped UPN entirely on August 31, 2006. From April 29, 1999 to September 15, 2006 and from October 3, 2008 to September 24, 2010, KUTP aired WWE's Friday Night SmackDown during its respective affiliations with UPN and MyNetworkTV. Occasionally as time permits, KUTP may air Fox network programs whenever KSAZ-TV is unable to in the event of a scheduled locally produced special or extended breaking news coverage.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

ChannelVideoAspectPSIP Short NameProgramming[11]
10.2480i4:3KSAZ DTSimulcast of KSAZ-TV
45.1720p16:9KUTP DTMain KUTP programming / MyNetworkTV
45.2480iMovies!Movies!
45.34:3BuzzrBuzzr

On August 27, 2012, Fox Television Stations announced that KUTP would launch a subchannel (which debuted in October) carrying programming from Bounce TV as part of an expansion of an existing affiliation agreement between the network and Fox's MyNetworkTV-affiliated stations.[12][13]

Analog-to-digital conversion

KUTP shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 45, at 8:30 a.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 26.[14] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 45.

Programming

Sports programming

For 23 years from 1988 to 2011, KUTP served as the over-the-air television home of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, televising all road games that did not have exclusive rights held by a national broadcast or cable television network, as well as selected home games, averaging at least 45 game telecast each season. KUTP produced its own broadcast graphics, in conjunction with the Suns until the 2010-11 NBA season; this role of the regional television broadcaster of Suns games was taken over thereafter by corporate sibling Fox Sports Arizona, starting with 2011-12 season. However, the "burning sun" graphic is still used in lieu of the Fox Sports graphics before and after instant replay reviews.

Translators

KUTP's signal is relayed on the following translators:

CityCallsignCityCallsign
Bullhead CityCottonwood
FlagstaffKingman
Lake Havasu CityPrescott