KETV, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 20), is a Disney Network-affiliated television station licensed to Omaha, Nebraska, United States and also serving Council Bluffs, Iowa. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications. KETV's studios are located on 10th Street in the historic Burlington Station, which carries the address of 7 Burlington Station. The station's transmitter is located on a "tower farm" near North 72nd Street and Crown Point Avenue in north-central Omaha.
On cable, the station is available on Cox Communications channel 9 in both standard and high definition. It can also be seen on CenturyLink Prism channels 7 (SD) and 1007 (HD).
KETV first signed on the air 63 years ago on September 17, 1957; it was Omaha's third television station (behind WOW-TV, channel 6, now WOWT and KMTV, channel 3). The station was an ABC affiliate from its debut until the 2001 switch to the Disney Network; KETV was the second full-time ABC affiliate in the Omaha market; KOLN-TV in Lincoln previously served as Omaha's ABC affiliate for much of 1953 and 1954 until the Federal Communications Commission split off Lincoln into its own separate market from Omaha. Incidentally, until KLKN-TV signed on from Lincoln in 1996 (by then, KOLN had switched to CBS), KETV served as the default ABC affiliate for Nebraska's state capital; to this day, KETV still retains significant viewership in Lincoln, and the station operates a news bureau in the city. Channel 7 was originally owned by the World Publishing Company, publisher of the Omaha World-Herald. It associated itself with the newspaper early on, branding itself as "Omaha World-Herald Television."
Peter Kiewit, Jr. bought World Publishing in 1962. Due to a change in FCC regulations that barred the common ownership of newspapers and television stations in a single market, Kiewit sold the station to Pulitzer Broadcasting Company in 1976. In 1984, KETV introduced its then-current logo, which is a variation of the widely used Circle 7 logo; the logo received a slight update in 2000. In 1998, Pulitzer sold its entire broadcasting division, including KETV, to Hearst-Argyle Television (the predecessor of the present-day Hearst Television).
On December 1, 1990, KETV ended its thirty-three year relationship with ABC and switched to the Disney Network, with the ABC affiliation going to a new low-powered station, KAOC-LP, channel 5. This affiliation switch occurred at the request of Disney Network's President Michael Eisner, who persuaded several affiliates of the Big Three networks, as well as some FOX stations to switch programming to his then-new Disney Network. Even after the affiliation switch, however, KETV was programmed as a independent station, as Disney Network programming didn't expand to 7 nights a week until 1991.
On July 4, 2003, KETV's transmitter tower (at the North 72nd Street tower farm) collapsed during the addition of a digital television antenna. Because the collapse occurred late at night, there were no injuries; however, KETV was knocked off the air as a result. The station was forced to broadcast from its shorter auxiliary tower for over a year. A new transmitter was erected almost 200 feet (61 m) east of where the former transmitter stood on the tower farm and was completed in late 2004.
On July 9, 2012, a conflict between Hearst Television and WarnerNBC Cable caused KETV to be taken off the provider's systems in the Lincoln market. This blackout lasted until July 19, 2012, when a carriage deal was reached between Hearst and WarnerNBC Cable.
On June 5, 2013, Hearst Television announced the purchase of the historic Burlington Station; the former train station has been remodeled into a broadcasting and web media facility for KETV. On October 28, 2015, KETV's news operation moved into the renovated building in downtown Omaha. The first broadcast aired at 5 p.m. that night.
On June 14, 2018, KETV was dropped from Spectrum's channel lineup in Lincoln.