XHRIO-TV, channel 2, also known as Fox Rio 2 or Fox XRIO, is the local Fox affiliate for the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It is licensed toMatamoros, Mexico, but serves American audiences across the Rio Grande Valley area from studios in McAllen, Texas. It can be seen onTime Warner Cable channel 6 in analog and digital cable channel 870 in high definition, as well as on sister station KNVO's third digital subchannel. XHRIO is operated by KNVO owner Entravision under a local marketing agreement; Mexican law does not allow foreigners to own any media outlets.
|Brownsville / McAllen / Harlingen, Texas|
|City of license||Matamoros, Tamaulipas|
|Branding||Fox Rio 2 (general)
Fox 2 News (newscasts) My 2 (MNTV programming)
|Slogan||At 9, It's News, At 10, It's History|
|Channels||Analog: 2 (VHF); cable 6|
(license and transmitter owned by a Mexican company) (TVNorte, SA de CV)
|Founded||January 12, 1979|
|Call letters' meaning||XH = Mexican callsign|
|Former callsigns||XHRIO-TV (1979-late 1990s)
XHHUPN-TV (late 1990s-2005)
|Former affiliations||English-language independent(1979-1981)|
In 1977, a joint venture was formed between the owners of KRIO (910) in McAllen and KRIX (99.5; now KKPS) in Brownsville and respected broadcaster Clemente Serna Alvear of Mexico City, holder of the license for the channel 2 transmitter. The venture returned channel 2 to the air on January 12, 1979 as XHRIO-TV, an English language independent station. It branded as XRIO-TV-2, running primarily reruns of older US shows and recent feature films. The studios were colocated in McAllen with KRIO. The transmitter was eight miles south of the Rio Grande and the Harlingen antenna farm. Since XHRIO-TV was perceived by its American competitors (KRGV-TV and KGBT-TV) as a "border blaster" or pirate station, they set about to block live delivery of programming across the US border. Thus, a monumental effort was required to cross the equipment and tower into Mexico, then to build and maintain the 100 kilowatt facility. The American side, responsible for constructing both halves of the facility, disregarded many Mexican communications and labor laws. In fact, American engineers were smuggled into the Mexican site in the late night hours to complete the construction. The station then began to transmit without authority of the Mexican government, and was not even using its correct call sign at any stage during its broadcast day. Notified that government authorities were on their way to shut down the transmitter, American technicians and Mexican operators alike fled the site. This was resolved and the station soon returned.The first incarnation of channel 2 operated in the 1960s; known as XETX channel 2. This was quickly shut down by its family ownership, Telesistema Mexicano (now Televisa).
Although XHRIO-TV had a broadcast signal superior to its US counterparts, it suffered from serious underfunding and mismanagement by the ownership of the studio facility. During its first year, the technical staff which had created the facility against incredible odds slowly departed. Power to the transmitter site was sporadic and replacement technical people were not up to the task. Thus, XHRIO-TV was never able to establish an advertising base in the English market, despite extremely successful initial ratings. In 1981, the owners of the Mexican license ended the delivery of programming tapes across the border to the channel 2 transmitter, and converted XHRIO to a Spanish language station, first as a local channel for Matamoros viewers, and later as a Telemundo affiliate. In the late 1990s, the station reverted back to English language programming and became XHHUPN-TV, a UPN affiliate. In 2005, the station reverted back to the XHRIO-TV calls and dropped UPN for Fox.
Fox programming had previously been seen on XHFOX (channel 17), but in the early 2000s, station owner Televisa dumped the Fox affiliation and flipped that channel to a XEW-TVrepeater as XHTAM-TV. Prior to XHFOX's arrival and before XHRIO took Fox, Lower Rio Grande viewers on the American side received the network from the nationwide Foxnet channel.
Because it is licensed in Mexico, XHRIO is not subject to the United States' discontinuation of analog television. Mexico has a different timetable for its own transition to digital, in which stations in this market will be required to begin digital broadcasting sometime between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018 (although XHRIO may at its discretion broadcast a digital signal before then). Until then, it is likely XHRIO's digital HD simulcast will remain on KNVO's digital subchannel, although Univision is scheduled to start HD broadcasts by 2010. XHRIO has been assigned UHF channel 26 for digital broadcasting by the Mexican government. In June 2010, KNVO began broadcasting Univision HD and XHRIO began broadcasting on digital channel 26 and is displayed as 2-1 and 67-1
Because XHRIO is licensed and broadcasting from Mexico, it is not covered under US "must-carry" regulations from the FCC. This means that, apart from low-powered affiliates in the US, XHRIO is the only Fox affiliate that local cable systems are not required to carry. However, US cable systems are effectively required to carry XHRIO anyway, since it is operated by Entravision, which owns stations on the American side of the border. The same must-carry rules give full-powered American stations the option of "retransmission consent", or requesting compensation from cable systems to carry their station. In this case, Entravision has the right to require cable systems to offer XHRIO as part of the compensation for carrying KNVO.
On September 27, 2006, DirecTV added XHRIO to its lineup in the Rio Grande Valley market; prior to that date, DirecTV viewers in that market received Fox programming from Corpus Christi's K47DF. On November 6, 2008, DirecTV added XHRIO's HD channel to its local HD line-up in the Valley. It can be found on channel 2.
On September 14, 2007, Time Warner Cable added XHRIO-DT to its HD service on digital cable channel 870, and can also be seen on ATSC/QAM channel 117.4, 48.9 or 79.9 (depending location) on basic cable.
In spring 2009, Dish Network added XHRIO's HD feed to its local channel line-up in the Valley. It can be found on channel 2.
When XHRIO debuted in 1979, the station produced hourly bilingual news briefs with KRIO newscasters Fred Cantu and Rod Santa Ana during evening programming.
A full local newscast would not air on the station until March 12, 2007, when XHRIO debuted Fox 2 News at Nine. The 30 minute newscast airs Monday through Friday at 9 p.m. It was not the first 9 p.m. newscast in the area, as XHFOX produced one while it was a Fox affiliate. Like many Fox affiliates, XHRIO takes advantage of the network's shorter primetime schedule by scheduling their newscasts an hour before the other local affiliates in the region. In addition to local/national news, weather and sports, Fox 2 News also includes "Around The World In 80 Seconds", an 80 second segment dedicated to International news, health news and entertainment news. XHRIO's newscast line-up is somewhat similar to that of sister station KNVO's Spanish language newscasts since both stations share the same facility.
On September 27, 2010, FOX 2 News started broadcasting in HD.
- Anchors: Octavio Saenz, Antonietta Collins
- Weather: Belen De Leon
- Sports: Rigo Montenegro
- Health: Anna Ramirez
- Reporters: Antonio Lujan, Antonio Rodrigurez, Antonietta Collins
Notable Former Members of FOX 2 News Team
Irma Chapa - Anchor
Erika Gonzalez - Anchor
Alex Del Barrio - Sports Anchor
- TV-2 Eyewitness News (1979–1981)
- Noticentro 2 (1981–1986)
- Noticiero Canal 2 (1986–1995)
- Fox 2 News (2007–2010)
- Fox 2 News HD (2010-present)
- Canal 2, Su Hogar Para el Entretenimiento! (early 1980s)
- Canal 2, El Canal de las Estrellas (mid-1980s)
- Venga a Casa al Canal 2 (late 1980s)
- At 9, It's News, At 10, It's History (2007–Late 2010)
- At 9, It's News, At 10, It's History, Now in High Definition (Late 2010-present)
- ^ Transicion a TDT (Transition to DT) (Spanish)
- ^ Canales de Television Digital (Digital Television Channels) (Spanish)