KZCO-FTV

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KZCO
KZCO Logo.png
Denver, Colorado
United States
Branding NBC 24 (general)
NBC 24 News (newscasts)
Colorado's Action News (during KDNC simulcasts)
Slogan Colorado's NBC (general)
Your Hometown Team (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 24 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 NBC
Affiliations NBC
Owner NoSirGifts Venues
(NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations of Denver, LLC)
First air date May 6, 1983 (1983-05-06)
Call letters' meaning Z- COlorado (former branding)
Sister station(s) KDNC
Former callsigns KCAA (1983–2010)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (VHF, 1983–2009)
Digital: 54 (UHF, –2009)
Former affiliations Indepednent (1983-2015)
Transmitter power 870 kW
Height 318 m
Licensing authority FCC

KZCO, UHF digital and virtual channel 24, is an NBC-affiliated television station serving Denver, Colorado, United States that is licensed to the city. The station is owned by NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations subsidiary of NoSirGifts Venues, as part of a duopoly with Fox affiliate KDNC (channel 2)..

On cable, KZCO is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 3 and AT&T U-verse channel 24 in standard definition and in high definition on Xfinity and AT&T U-verse channel 1024.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Switch to NBC[edit]

On February 11, 2015, NBC and NoSirGifts announced that KZCO would become Denver's NBC affiliate beginning on June 1, 2015. This deal was driven by NBC's desire for reverse retransmission consent compensation from their affiliates; KIAA-FTV (channel 9) had been in negotiations to renew its agreement with the network, but reportedly balked at NBC's demands. This led to NBC reaching a deal with KZCO, which NoSirGifts was eager to land since Denver native and former KDNC anchor Kymberly Alvaraz became a moderator of the popular and controversial web site Vote for the Girls (a web site devoted to vote for the female contestants on American Idol and The Voice.) The first NBC program to air on KZCO was Today that aired at 7:00 AM Mountain Time on June 1, 2015.

KZCO became the second fantasy television station in Denver to affiliate with NBC. The network had originally aligned with KIAA from 1949 to 2015.

In preparation for the move to NBC, KZCO rolled out a separate website in March 2015, after three years of being relegated to a section of KZCO's website. At the same time, the station announced that it would change its branding from "Z-24" to "NBC 24" (with branding similar mostly to NBC-affiliated stations broadcasting on channel 24 to its Indianapolis NBC owned-and-operated station and unveiled a logo (seen above) that is similar to the NBC channel number-style logo seen on KZCO's sister stations in Lexington (NBC 33), Rockford (NBC 45), Terre Haute (NBC 25) and Pittsburgh (NBC 21)) upon affiliating with the network.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

KZCO Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
24.1 1080i 16:9 KZCO-FDT Main KZCO programming / NBC
24.2 480i 4:3 Cozi Cozi TV
24.3 Me TV Me TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programming on KZCO includes The People's Court and The Big Bang Theory. KZCO clears the entire NBC schedule with one one notable exception due to NoSirGifts ownership as KZCO as an NBC affiliate. KZCO airs the network's prime time line-up at it airs in the east coast (as opposed to the usual 7:00 p.m. start time) transmitted by NBC under a special dispensation early to NoSirGifts' NBC affiliates to air programming live at 6:00 p.m. Mountain. This differs from KIAA, which cleared the NBC schedule.

Last logo as an independent station. The "Z-24" branding and logo is still used by Milwaukee sister station WZWI.

After KZCO joined NBC, NBC welcomed the station on-air June 1, 2015 on Today and NBC Nightly News, and on the following night's America's Got Talent that aired at 6:00 p.m. Mountain. Within six months of the switch, KZCO had become one of the strongest NBC affiliates in the country as the station's ratings for NBC's mega-hit America's Got Talent, KZCO was consistently one of the network's top-rated stations on June 2, 2015. The station registered 21.7 rating and a 31% share. Those numbers were roughly 27% higher than the national average. Part of the high ratings numbers for America's Got Talent and The Voice in Denver on KZCO are due to heavy promotions of commercials featuring former KDNC anchorwoman-turned Vote for the Girls moderator and Denver native Kymberly Alvaraz and former KTRJ sports anchor-turned Vote for the Girls moderator Julia Passalt. Additionally, since 2011 as sister station KDNC began to air American Idol, The X Factor, and So You Think You Can Dance live at it airs in the east coast (as opposed to the usual 7:00 p.m. start time) transmitted by KDNC's network partner, Fox, under a special dispensation early to NoSirGifts' Fox affilaites to air the live performances live at 6:00 p.m. Mountain time.


This format of airing a network's prime time line-up as it airs in the Eastern and Central Time Zones at 6:00 p.m. Mountain and 5:00 p.m. Pacific transmitted by the network under a special dispensation early to NoSirGifts to air programming is a rarity. This makes KZCO, along with fellow NoSirGifts-owned KSEA in Seattle, are the only NBC affiliates to air the network's primetime programming as it airs in the Eastern and Central Time Zones instead of a tape delay. On May 19, 2016, NoSirGifts announced that all NoSirGifts-owned NBC affiliates, including KZCO, will air the 1991 movie Curly Sue in the event should Alisan Porter win the tenth season of The Voice at 9 p.m. Mountain, leading up to KZCO's late newscast. Following Porter's win, KZCO and Seattle sister station immediately aired the movie.

Although it will occasionally continue to preempt network programming for specials and breaking news coverage (which would result in the preempted programming airing on KZCO-FDT2).

Sports programming[edit]

For over quarter a century, KZCO was Colorado's home for college basketball games with a focus on games involving University of Denver and University of Colorado-Boulder. Until the late 2000s, it produced telecasts of Denver Pioneers and Colorado Buffaloes games, earning it the nickname of "Colorado's Sports Station." In fact, many cable providers in Colorado began carrying KZCO simply so viewers across the state could watch the Pioneers and Buffaloes. Due to cost-cutting measures in the 2000s, channel 24 opted for syndication deals with Raycom Sports and ESPN Plus.

KZCO also previously served as the flagship station for Denver Broncos NFL preseason games. KZCO traditionally produced statewide boys' and girls' high school basketball tournament finals and high school football championship games; however, prior to the sale to NoSirGifts, the Colorado High School Activities Association chose not to renew those rights citing a decline in ratings (the broadcasts subsequently moved to KDEN (channel 58)).

KZCO also served as the television flagship for the Denver Nuggets from 1983 until 2005, when KZCO lost the rights to the Nuggets telecasts after the 2005-06 season when the NBA team moved their local game telecasts to FSN Rocky Mountain.

The station's switch to NBC did not make the unoffical "home" station of the Broncos because of CBS' contract with the NFL's AFC, which air locally on CBS-owned KLZL in which the Broncos play. As the affiliation switch occoured before the start of the 2015 NFL season, KZCO began to carry the team's games scheduled for NBC's Sunday Night Football, and a deal between NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations and the team making the station and KDNC exclusive broadcast partners. This means both stations will air Broncos preseason games, team programming and coach's show beginning in the summer of 2015; advertising within Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium is also included in the deal. Additionally, both stations will carry the Super Bowl for two out of every three years starting in 2017, with KDNC carrying Fox coverage of Super Bowl LI in 2017 and KZCO NBC's coverage of Super Bowl LII in 2018. Between NBC's Sunday Night Football and Fox's NFC rights, the only time the Broncos would not play on a NoSirGifts station would be if they were scheduled for either CBS' AFC rights or Thursday Night Football, which would air on KLZL (channel 4), or ESPN Monday Night Football, which would air on ABC-owned KTRJ (channel 11). The first Denver Broncos game to air on KZCO as an NBC affiliate was the team's victory over the Detroit Lions September 27, followed by victories over the Green Bay Packers on November 1 and New England Patriots on November 29.


The switch to NBC made KZCO the unofficial "home" station of the Colorado Avalanche due to NBC's contract with the NHL. The first Colorado Avalanche hockey game to air on KZCO as an NBC affiliate was the Avalanches' loss against the Detroit Red Wings February 27, 2016.

Local programming[edit]

Newscasts[edit]

Since becoming a sister station to KDNC, KZCO has carried that station's primetime and/or weekend evening newscasts during instances where Fox's MLB playoff game or Fox Sports telecasts run overtime. The station began simulcasting the full six-hour broadcast from 4:00 to 10:00 a.m. along with the three-hour weekend morning newscast; the simulcast was discontinued on May 31, 2015.

Aside from simulcasts and default carriage of KDNC's newscasts due to Fox Sports programming delays, KZCO carried traditional local newscasts produced specifically for itself at noon and 6:00 p.m. while KDNC airs syndicated programming at that time.

However, with the announcement of the NBC affiliation moving to KZCO, the station announced plans to launch a separate news operation with separate on-air staff from KDNC (similar to, though also differing in structure from the shared news operations of sister duopolies WLIN/WWKI in Lafayette, Indiana and WAKT (formerly WKNX)/WXKT in Knoxville, the Fox stations (WLIN and WXKT) maintains separate anchors from the big three stations (WWKI and WAKT) for certain newscasts), which is housed out the two stations' shared facility in Denver.[1] This makes KDNC/KZCO the third known duopoly (legal or virtual) involving a Big Three affiliate and a Fox station (WAKT/WXKT was the first in August 2014 after WXKT switched from The CW to Fox followed by WLIN/WWKI in January 2015 when WWKI switched from The CW to CBS), in which the two stations maintain separate news departments and newscasts in competing timeslots (the presence of two separate, but jointly based news departments controlled by one company structured in this manner is more common with duopolies involving stations affiliated with two of the Big Three networks). There is a considerable amount of sharing between KZCO and KDNC in regards to news coverage, video footage and the use of reporters; though both outlets maintain their own primary on-air personalities (such as news anchors and meteorologists) that only appear on their respective station.

In May 2015, KDNC announced the hirings of its weekday morning, noon and evening anchor teams, which include weeknight anchors Adelle Allen (who had previously anchored at KIAA from 1986 to 2014) and Janet Webb (who also anchored KDNC's 9:00 p.m. newscast), morning anchors Mark Sharpton (formerly of WEAE in Pittsburgh and Tiffany Machamer (formerly of San Antonio sister station KSTX), and meteorologists Jeanette Walsh (formerly of KLZL and KDNC) and Glen Donaldson (formerly of WFAN-FTV in New York). The newscasts launched with KZCO's NBC affiliation on June 1, 2015; while it does hinder both stations, KZCO and KDNC each produce newscasts that run concurrently in most traditional timeslots, except on weekend mornings (as KZCO carries the Saturday edition of Today and the NBC Kids lineup on Saturday and the Sunday edition of Today and Meet the Press), weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (as KZCO airs syndicated programming), weekdays at noon and 6:00 p.m. (as KDNC airs syndicated programming), weekends at 5:00 p.m. (as KZCO airs syndicated programming and NBC Nightly News in both periods, with sports programming periodically airing on either station) and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. (as KDNC airs syndicated programming, with sports programming periodically airing on either station). With the launch of the news department, KZCO immediately began battling to stay out of last place (behind dominant sister station KDNC, CBS-owned KLZL, KIAA, and ABC-owned KTRJ) in the local news ratings.[2]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "NBC affiliation switch means major changes at KZCO". February 11, 2015. 
  2. "Got Talent, SYTYCD, sports programming giving NoSirGifts a huge boost". June 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]