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KOCE-TV is a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service with programming focused on the communities of Orange County, Californiamarker. It airs Orange County's only nightly newscast, Real Orange, with a concentration on human interest and public service stories. It also broadcasts several college courses (telecourses) by the Coast Community College District, which was its original owner. The station's studios were located at the District's Golden West College in Huntington Beachmarker, its city of license. Its transmitter is located at the Southern California tower farm on Mount Wilsonmarker. KOCE has 3 digital subchannels including the OC Channel.

History

KOCE began broadcasting on November 20 1972 as the first television station located in Orange County, with 4 hours of airtime per day. It broadcast its first telecourse in 1973.

KOCE is a "beta" or secondary PBS station, airing only 25 percent of the national PBS schedule. Despite this, it is the sixth most-watched PBS station in the country.

KOCE vs. Daystar

In 2002, the District offered KOCE for sale in order to raise revenue for other programs. A bidding war ensued between Christian televangelist network Daystar and members of the community who wanted to continue membership with PBS.

In 2004, the sale was finalized to the KOCE-TV Foundation, an organization made up of civic and business leaders who wanted to keep KOCE an educational station, for a bid price of $25.5 million, reduced from an initial bid of $32 million ($8 million up front and the rest in 25 equal installments without interest beginning in 2009). Daystar's unsuccessful bid was $25 million, all cash.

Daystar sued in state court, stating that under the terms of the auction, its all-cash bid should have been accepted. A lower court ruled in favor of the college district and the foundation, but on June 23, 2005, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the sale of KOCE was illegal, since the offer was modified after the end of bidding and because the value of the bid was not expressed in net present value terms. Both sides appealed this decision. On 22 November 2005, a state appeals panel reheard arguments in the case following a petition from KOCE, the foundation, the district and Daystar. On 25 May 2006, the appeals court reaffirmed its decision, again ruling the sale illegal.

At the same time, Daystar also filed a federal lawsuit, alleging religious discrimination, civil rights violations and racketeering. On 1 May 2006, the District Court dismissed the racketeering, but not the civil rights, portion of the lawsuit.

In June 2006, a state assembly bill that had previously been approved was changed to allow the Coast Community College District to sell KOCE below fair market value in order to keep it a PBS station. The new bill was passed by the assembly, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it citing concerns about serving the public interest in the sale of public property and the unresolved legal challenges to the type of sale that the bill would have authorized.

In June 2007, an agreement was reached in which the KOCE-TV Foundation will keep the station, provided that Daystar is allowed to broadcast on one of KOCE's digital subchannels (channel 50.3).

Digital Television

KOCE multi-casts three sub-channels on digital television channel 48:



On June 12, 2009 at 11:30 PM, KOCE shut off its analog signal and became a digital-only station, broadcasting on digital channel 48. Through PSIP, KOCE continues to broadcast on virtual channel 50.

KOCE Weather Center

KOCE employs a Weather Center stationed in La Habra Heights, CAmarker, about 20 miles north of the KOCE's broadcasting center in Huntington Beach. It is also located in the same area as the KOCE's transmitter site for the Orange County area. This Weather Station, which only consists of a weather camera, is shown live only on Real Orange broadcasts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the weather reports. The weather radar image and other data are gathered from other weather sources as KOCE does not employ its own weather radar.

Trivia



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