KIKU-TV launched on Dec 30, 1983 is a non-affiliated Hawaii station that broadcasts on virtual channel 20 and is owned by NRJ TV, LLC. It is headquartered on Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu and transmitter is installed in Nānākuli. Oceanic Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom, as with majority of Hawaii-based channels carry the station on cable. While DirecTV and Dish Network are the satellite providers that use channel 20 for the transmission of KIKU which is available for watch on all big islands.
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Hawaii’s KIKU Television
KIKU first signed on air as KTRG-TV on July 4, 1962; Watumull Broadcasting Company was the owner of the station. In 1966 upon the sale of the channel it call letters changed to KIKU. It became very popular with the children in Hawaii through it programming that consisted of Japanese tokusatsu shows including Himitsu Sentai Goranger, Kikaida, Ganbare!! Robocon, Kamen Rider V3 and others.
Mid-Pacific Television Associates formed by 10 local investors, TV Asahi and Cushman family of San Diego acquired KIKU on April 9, 1979. First result of that was the cutting down of Japanese content and shifting of it to primetime slots. It also adopted a “kid vid” format and bagged success with programs like “The Children’s Hour and Professor Fun”. By year 1981, Japanese content was removed completely from Channel 13.
The call letters were changed to KHNL-TV in 1984 and the TV was traded to King Broadcasting Company in 1986, the same year when channel 13 became a Charter affiliate of Fox. However, the Asian programming still somewhat aired on KHNL in the form of sumo wrestling and other stuff. In 1992, Providence Journal Company and its financial partner Kelso & Company submerged King Broadcasting into them. KHNL is currently an NBC affiliate since Jan 1, 1996.
KIKU Specific History
The history of the KIKU dates back to Feb 12, 1980, when application was filed with FCC for the registration of KHAI-TV; the Channel 20 signed on air on Dec 30, 1983. The independent station at beginning would host cartoons, movie packages, and Asian content. It changed its call-letters to KIKU on Sep 4, 1993. Gregg Mueller, GM of the KIKU resigned from his charge in Oct 2003 while the long-time acting president Joanne Ninomiya would also part his ways with the channel 20 at the start of 2004.
It became a secondary UPN affiliate on Nov 1, 2004 and in doing so it also became the fourth and the final to affiliate with UPN in the Honolulu metropolitan. Following the closure of UPN on Sep 17, 2006, KIKU once again became an independent station. Following the official launch of The CW Television Network, KIKU maintained its decision to not to affiliate with the newly started network as the CW would later enter into a deal with KHON-TV. KIKU partnered with FUNimation Channel on Sep 18, 2006 but ended its affiliation with the network in Sep 2007 citing the low viewership as the reason for disaffiliation. In 2012, KIKU would pare down most of its English language programming to further its Asian content.
KIKU on Jan 15, 2009 switched from Analog to Digital mode of transmission along with other channels operating in Hawaiian market.
KIKU offers a multicultural programming to cater the needs of Asian Community in the Hawaii. The content include English, Japanese and Tagalog language broadcasts. It borrows content from some major Japanese broadcasters including TV Asahi, Nippon TV, Tokyo Broadcasting System and NHK. Similarly for Filipino audiences, the content it carries is licensed from some of the major Philippines-based networks including GMA Network, TV 5 and ABS-CBN. The outlet also included Chinese programming into its lineups on Saturdays.