|Bethlehem, Pennsylvania/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|City of license||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania|
|Slogan||Positively Different Television|
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 60 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sonshine Family Television, Inc.|
|First air date||December 27, 1990|
|Call letters' meaning||W-Bethlehem & PHiladelphia|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
60 (UHF, 1990–2009)
|Transmitter power||80.6 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WBPH-TV, virtual channel 60 (VHF digital channel 9), is a religious independent television station serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States that is licensed to Bethlehem. The station is owned by Sonshine Family Television Corporation. WBPH-TV maintains offices and studio facilities in Allentown, and its transmitter is located on South Mountain in Allentown, Pennsylvania (specifically Salisbury Township in the Lehigh Valley region of the state).
The station was an outgrowth of Christian programming that Pat Huber had begun on a local public-access cable television channel. In 1985, Huber formed the Sonshine Family Television Corporation and applied for a television broadcast license with the Federal Communications Commission. The station first signed on the air on December 27, 1990.
WBPH broadcasts select programs from FamilyNet and The Worship Network, along with locally-produced special interest programs, religious programming and Lafayette College sports events. Since its inception, two of WBPH's in-house programs have been 60 Live and Bethlehem Glory, both hosted by station owner Pat Huber.
WBPH is also an affiliate of the Lafayette Sports Network. Broadcasts are produced by RCN channel 4 and include all of Lafayette College's football games (including early rounds of the playoffs) and all men's and women's basketball home games. Very few of the basketball team's away games are televised by the station, one notable exception are men's games played at Princeton University.
Through the course of its existence, the station has also produced shows in conjunction with area radio stations and churches. One program that had short-lived popularity among area church youth was Live from Studio 60. Produced along with WBYO (88.9 FM), Live from Studio 60 showcased local Christian bands performing to a live audience at the WBPH-TV studio in Allentown. The program reached its peak in 2000 when it played host to Christian band The Waiting, in conjunction with the Fallout concert, a large Christian music festival held annually in the Lehigh Valley as a promotional event for See You at the Pole. The end of the program was brought on by the need to put efforts into the building of their three megawatt transmitter facility to reach beyond the Lehigh Valley into Philadelphia.
Presently, WBPH-TV is seen on cable systems in most of the Philadelphia media market. Exceptions are a majority of Chester County, most of southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The majority of areas in which WBPH-TV is carried are those within reach of the station's over-the-air broadcast signal.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|60.1||480i||4:3||WBPH-D1||Main WBPH programming|
|60.2||480i||4:3||WBPH-D2||BizTV Affiliate Channel|
In 2002, WBPH applied to have its digital channel assignment reallocated from UHF channel 59 to VHF channel 9. The reason for this was that both the station's analog and digital channels were among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that would be removed from broadcasting use upon the formal transition to digital broadcasts. With the FCC's approval of this application, WBPH became the first station in the Lehigh Valley to broadcast on a VHF channel.
WBPH shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 60, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 9. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 60.
- WBPH website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBPH
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WBPH-TV