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KBMT to become NBC affiliate in addition to ABC

McKinnon Broadcasting, owner of KBMT12 in Beaumont, announced Tuesday that KBMT has come to an agreement with the NBC network to broadcast its programming in high definition to Southeast Texans beginning Jan. 1 on its second digital channel 12.2. The station will continue to air ABC programming on channel 12 analog and in high definition on KBMT-DT 12.1 in Beaumont.

“We are pleased and excited to offer Southeast Texas the outstanding line-up of NBC programming they know and enjoy,” Michael McKinnon Sr., president of McKinnon Broadcasting, said.

KBTV Channel 4, which previously carried NBC programming, announced last month they would no longer continue their affiliation with the network. Channel 4 will become a Fox affiliate on Jan. 1.

KBMT will continue to carry ABC programming and local news coverage on the station’s primary digital channel 12.1. Under the new digital television format, every TV station has digital sub-channels on which they can air different programming.

In addition to airing NBC’s national shows, the station will also air unique local news programming to complement the quality and established NBC News product.

“We listened to the viewers of the area and they said they wanted to see NBC programming,” Mike Elrod, general manager of KBMT12, said. “We are committed to continue serving Southeast Texans and believe this is a great extension of the quality programming we already offer.”

The new NBC affiliate will also offer local news options, however exact details have yet to be worked out, Elrod said. He added that today’s announcement ensures the station will be producing more local news programming than any other local affiliate in the market.

Cable and satellite viewers will not be required to own a new digital set in order to receive the NBC programming because these systems that carry KBMT will have the ability to convert the digital signal to a regular analog signal on the cable or satellite. If you rely on an antenna to view local stations, you will need a digital converter box that is available at many local electronics dealers. You may obtain a coupon from the government to off set the cost of purchasing the converter box.

“This is just another example of Mr. McKinnon’s ongoing commitment to the Southeast Texas community,” he said.