I noticed yesterday evening that KCFW, the NBC affiliate that broadcasts on digital channel 9 here in Kalispell, started multicasting. For the time being, channels 9-2 and 9-3 display nothing more than a test pattern (and the words “NBC MONTANA SDI TEST”).

NBC Montana SDI Test X.2 X.3

The station’s website was unsurprisingly uninformative about this new development (television stations tend to treat their websites as an extension of their local news broadcast, rather than as a place for information about the station itself), so I stopped by the station’s office to ask in person.

The front desk clerk didn’t tell me much — she said she didn’t know most of the details, and I see no reason not to believe her — but she confirmed that the station plans to begin broadcasting additional programming, and they’re hoping to start by the end of May. What will the programming consist of? The receptionist said the station managers are still deciding, possibly still in negotiations, so your guess is as good as mine.

I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing one of NBC’s sister channels (CNBC or MSNBC) coming in over the air. But considering that our local ABC station’s second digital channel is a FOX/My Network TV feed, and the CBS affiliate multicasts with the CW, the possibilities are pretty wide open. We’ll know soon enough.

Whatever the final selection, I’m happy to see this. Broadcast television remains pretty limited in the Flathead Valley, so this latest development will add welcome diversity to what’s available.

Update 5/28: 9-2 is up, showing MeTV.

Update 6/1: According to RabbitEars, 9-3 will be This TV, another channel specializing in retro programming.

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