Alexandria-based Selective TV has completed a contract with CBS to keep the CBS signal available in Douglas County and the surrounding area.
Selective TV, a non-profit over-the-air television programming system supported by viewer contributions, announced the deal Friday, Dec. 22.
CBS affiliate WCCO in the Twin Cities is turning off its KCCO-TV signal at the end of the year, which would have kept many central Minnesota viewers from picking up the CBS signal with an antenna.
CBS closed down the KCCO studio in Alexandria in 2004. Since then, the KCCO tower near Westport in Pope County has been transmitting WCCO programming.
That signal now will come from the Selective TV tower near Garfield on channels 4.1 and 4.2.
"The new channels are already up and running so you can use auto program on your television to get the new channels. This will also make things much easier for people who had to either point their antenna toward Westport for 7 and 42, or toward Garfield for the Selective TV channels, now everything will come from the Selective TV tower," Selective TV said in an announcement on its website, selectivetv.org.
Alexandria area residents raised about $500,000 to set up the Selective TV system in 1976. Selective TV asks that people using its service make a $10 per month contribution to the organization.
But the group said on its website that viewer contributions continue to fall below operating expenses. "If this continues not only will we lose CBS we will also lose all of the other channels Selective TV provides. This is not an exaggeration. I really hope everyone who uses the service that Selective TV provides will take this to heart and start to do their part in keeping Selective TV on the air."
In an email, Selective TV said it estimates that less than 10 percent of viewers who use the service make a voluntary contribution.
Selective TV said checks can be sent to Selective TV, 2308 S. Broadway, Alexandria MN 56308, or contributions can be made at selectivetv.org.