California Music Channel (CMC) is an American music video broadcast television network based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is one of the longest running local music video television stations in the world. CMC has been broadcasting music videos over the air in the Bay Area since 1982. CMC has grown from an hour-long program to two 24/7 stations with digital simulcast capabilities. The live broadcasts feature on-camera disc jockeys, audience participation, and contemporary music videos. It is owned by CMC Broadcasting Company, Inc. CMC is carried as a Digital Broadcast Network on ten Northern California television stations.
CMC was founded on August 31, 1981, by Rick Kurkjian, launching on March 1, 1982, as a half-hour show telecast twelve times per week on Teleprompter Cable Oakland Channel 12. The notion of a Bay Area Interconnect was developed early on as CMC expanded by doing local original cable channels on Concord TV Cable Ch. 11, Viacom Cable of San Francisco Ch 6, Viacom of Marin and Castro Valley Cable TV. After a little more than a year on the local cable channels CMC started running a Saturday night version of the program on KCSM-TV Ch 60 in San Mateo. The CMC broadcast was simulcast in stereo on KCSM-TV's sister station, KCSM-FM 91.1.
In 1983, KCSM-TV was one of a batch of educational-access television stations to experiment with running expanded underwriting announcements and full 30-second commercial TV spots from non-profit organizations. In addition to the U.S. Army, many of its other advertisers were coincidentally set up as non-profit organizations under dealer associations and franchise organizations such as the California Milk Advisory Board and the McDonald's "Golden Arches Advertising Fund". As such, CMC was able to include commercials for these organizations on the otherwise non-commercial, educational, KCSM. This revenue allowed the show to remain profitable, when other local music video shows were struggling to remain on the air or even on non commercial Public-access television.
In 1984, the demand from CMC advertisers grew beyond the scope of underwriting announcements and non profit 30s. On October 1, 1984, the California Music Channel debuted its Monday to Friday broadcast on full power independent KTSF-TV where CMC remained through February 23, 2018.
In 2021, construction began on KTVJ-LD RF 6 Virtual 3 serving Boise-Nampa-Meridian, Idaho. KTVJ is expected to be on the air by December 1, 2021 with digital broadcast networks CMC on channel 3.1 and CMC-USA on channel 3.2.
The California Music Channel music video format is Hot AC and CHR/Rhythmic. The concept is "radio with pictures" - music video shows are broadcast live, and announcers interact directly with viewers by telephone and e-mail, including requests, contests, and birthday greetings. CMC operates KKPM-CD 28.3 Chico/Sacramento and its twelve satellite stations twenty-four hours a day. CMC Broadcasting also owns CMC-USA Country Music Channel which is broadcast on .2 on the KKPM-CD stations. Both CMC California Music Channel and CMC-USA Country Music Channel are simulcast live on CMC websites, mobile app, and Over-the-top media services via Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. Prior to this, CMC operated three full-time video music channels for MobiTV, including "CMC California Music Channel", "CMC Beat Lounge", and "CMC-USA Country Music Channel".