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List of Cable channels in Bismarck, North Dakota (September 1985)

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Parent Page: List of Retro Cable lineups in the United States

Residents in Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota had access to the channels listed below in September of 1985. The name and identity of the provider at the time is unknown at this time. Today, services are handled by Midco, a joint venture between Midcontinent Media (51%) and Comcast (49%).


  • CALL — The call letters of an over-the-air television station in bold text.
  • CABLE — Cable channels in regular text.
  •  ##  — Over-the-air channel number for stations within the Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson television market, according to current laws by the FCC and mapping of markets by Nielsen Media Research. Also, some stations may service areas outside of the television market as well.
  •  ##  — Over-the-air channel number for distant out-of-market stations, including regional and national "superstations", according to current laws by the FCC and mapping of markets by Nielsen Media Research.
  • Network affiliated stations will have the network's logo (of the corresponding era) next to them and independent stations are unmarked.


The Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson television market includes 41 counties in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, with the market hubs listed in bold text:

  • Montana:
    • Counties: Daniels, Fallon, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux
    • Cities: Baker, Culbertson, Lambert, Medicine Lake, Plentywood, Scobey, Sidney and Wibaux
  • North Dakota:
    • Counties: Adams, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Kidder, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Oliver, Pierce, Renville, Rolette, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Ward, Wells and Williams
    • Cities: Apple Valley, Bismarck, Bottineau, Burlington, Dickinson, Dunseith, Fort Yates, Fredonia, Grassy Butte, Johnsons Corner, Mandan, Mandaree, Minot, New Salem, Strasburg, Surrey, Watford City, and Williston
  • South Dakota:
    • Counties: Campbell and Corson
    • Cities: Bullhead, Herreid, Keldron, Kenel, Little Eagle, Mahto, McIntosh, McLaughlin, Morristown, Mound City, Pollock, Thunder Hawk, Trail City, Wakpala, Walker and Watauga


Source: Newspapers.com (Paid subscription to "Publisher Extra" may be required for some sections)
CH# Names Notes/Today
2  17  WTBS Atlanta, GA The direct feed of the OTA station at the time, now as WPCH-TV, owned by Gray Television
(Both the station and the TBS network (short for Turner Broadcasting System), were separated from each other in 2007, TBS today,
is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery)
3 The Weather Channel Weather forecasting and science and in recent years, weather related shows and documentaries as well
(Also with local weather alerts and local forecasts every ten minutes on the 8s of every hour, owned by Entertainment Studios)
4 ESPN A 24-hour channel devoted to local, regional, national and international sports
(Owned as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company at 80% and Hearst Communications at 20%)
5 CBN CBN Cable Network was spun off by the Christian Broadcasting Network and operates today as
Freeform, owned by The Walt Disney Company
6  9  WGN-TV Chicago, IL The direct OTA feed at the time, then and now, an independent, now owned by Nexstar Media Group
(Its later cable counterpart, WGN America, has since been rebranded and relaunched as NewsNation)
7 1979 NBC logo.svg  5  KFYR-TV Bismarck Currently a dual NBC and Fox affiliate, owned by Gray Television
(KFYR-TV also operates three semi-satellite stations,  10  KMOT in Minot,  7  KQCD-TV in Dickinson and  8  KUMV-TV in Williston)
8 American Broadcasting Company Logo.svg  17  KBMY Bismarck Currently a dual ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliate
(Once a standalone station, now a semi-satellite of  6  WDAY-TV in Fargo, which along with KBMY and its "piggy-back"
semi-satellite  14  KMCY in Minot are all owned and operated by Forum Communications)
9 USA Network Then and now, a general entertainment and sports channel owned by NBCUniversal
11 CBS Eyemark.svg  12  KXMB-TV Bismarck Currently a dual CBS and CW+ affiliate
(KXMB-TV along with  13  KXMC in Minot and  11  KXMD in Williston and sister CW+ affiliate  2  KXMA-TV (itself a semi-satellite of
KXMB-DT2) all make up the KX Television Network, all are owned and operated by Nexstar Media Group)
13 PBS 1984.svg  3  KBME Bismarck Still a PBS member station, owned by Prairie Public Broadcasting
(KBME is merely a satellite station for Prairie Public Television, a network of PBS stations throughout North Dakota
with  13  KFME in Fargo as its flagship, the "-TV" suffix added to its call letters, now as KBME-TV in 1998)
14 C-SPAN A channel entirely focused on federal government and public affairs pertaining to the United States
House of Representatives
, including live coverage of proceedings
15 SPN Short for Satellite Program Network, later rebranded as Tempo Television and then sold to NBC
and relaunched as CNBC in 1989
16 Lifetime Programming geared towards women and women in lead roles of movies and shows
(Owned by A&E Networks, a 50-50 joint venture between the Hearst Communications and Disney General Entertainment
Content, a division of The Walt Disney Company)
17 The Nashville Network
A channel once focused on country music and lifestyle, it now operates as a general entertainment
channel as Paramount Network, owned by Paramount Global
18 Nickelodeon Today owned by Paramount Global, schedule then and now, still consists of programming towards
children and teenagers up to 18 years of age
Nick at Nite Programming initially consisted of 1950s and 1960s shows but shows from later decades added in
the years and decades since
19 Country Music Television Programming consisting of country music and lifestyle with some country-themed reality shows
added in recent years, now just simply as CMT, owned by Paramount Global
20 CNN Headline News Once a companion network to CNN with news headlines, programming has shifted mostly to crime
and law oriented shows and documentaries in recent years as HLN, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
22 Music Television Now known only as MTV, owned by Paramount Global, it has shifted from strictly music and music
videos in its early years to a mix of music, reality shows and dramas in recent years
23 Home Box Office A premium pay subscription network, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
(Home Box Office is still used as the network's legal corporate name, operating on-air and online nowadays exclusively as HBO)
24 Showtime A premium subscription channel with movies, shows, documentaries and sporting events, owned by
Paramount Global
25 The Movie Channel Sister network to Showtime, owned by Paramount Global
26 Cinemax Sister network to HBO, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery
27 The Disney Channel Once a premium pay subscription channel, now a general cable channel known only as Disney,
owned by The Walt Disney Company
28 Arts & Entertainment Once a channel focused on arts and history, the channel has shifted significantly towards reality shows,
dramas and documentaries, now known only as A&E
(The flagship network of A&E Networks, a 50-50 joint venture between Hearst Communications and Disney General Entertainment
Content, a division of The Walt Disney Company)
29 Trinity Broadcasting
Now operating by the acronym TBN, one of the leading major Christian television networks in America
(Split channel, carried 7 days a week from 11:00 PM to 7:00 PM Central Time)
Eternal Word
Television Network
A channel dedicated entirely to Catholic programming, now by the acronym EWTN
(Split channel, carried nightly from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Central Time)
30 Financial News Network Financial, consumer and business news and stocks
(Sold to NBC and integrated into CNBC in 1991)
31 Video Hits One Now known exclusively as VH1, owned by Paramount Global
(Much like its sister network, MTV, it has also shifted from strictly music and music videos in its early years to a mix of music,
reality shows and dramas and other acquired programming in recent years)
32 Weather Radar A 24-hour loop of the weather radar from the National Weather Service
(Operated independently of The Weather Channel)