|Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
|City of license||Tampa, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 47 (UHF)
Virtual: 50 (PSIP)
50.2 Bounce TV
|Owner||Univision Communications, Inc.
(managed by Entravision Communications Corporation)
(UniMás Tampa, LLC)
|First air date||1988|
|Call letters' meaning||TeleFuTura Tampa|
|Former callsigns||WBHS (1988–1992)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
50 (UHF, 1988–2009)
|Former affiliations||HSN (1988–2002)
|Transmitter power||650 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WFTT-DT, virtual channel 50 (UHF digital channel 47), is a UniMás owned-and-operated television station located in Tampa, Florida, United States and also serving the nearby city of St. Petersburg. The station is owned by Univision Communications; Entravision Communications Corporation, which owns Univision affiliate WVEA-TV (channel 62), operates WFTT under a local marketing agreement. The two stations share studio facilities located on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa; WFTT's transmitter is located in Riverview. WFTT is available on cable television throughout the Bay Area on Bright House Networks channel 5, and on Comcast channel 23 in Sarasota County.
The station first signed on the air in 1988 as WBHS (a "TV" suffix was added to the call letters in 1992), serving as the flagship station of the Home Shopping Network. The station was originally by HSN's broadcasting arm Silver King Broadcasting. HSN programming was supplemented with locally produced public affairs and human interest briefs for 4½ minutes each hour, which exceeded the number of hours independent stations were required to provide local programming (over 12 broadcast hours a week, counting repeats). The Sunday schedule was devoted to children's programming, including 1970s shows such as "New Zoo Revue", to expose them to a younger audience.
In 1996, Barry Diller acquired the Home Shopping Network; two years later, HSN acquired the USA Networks and renamed the broadcasting group as USA Broadcasting. Plans emerged in the late 1990s to convert WBHS-TV into a general entertainment independent station by 2002, mirroring the local programming-infused format that was already adopted by its stations in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami; however, USA Broadcasting (owned by USA Networks) decided to sell its television stations in 2000, before any plans to change the station's format were made. The Walt Disney Company made a bid to acquire the group, but was outbid by Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications. WBHS-TV remained with HSN until January 14, 2002, when it became a charter owned-and-operated station of Univision's secondary network TeleFutura (which was renamed Unimás in January 2013) and changed its call letters to WFTT.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|50.1||1080i||16:9||WFTT-DT||Main WFTT-DT programming / UniMás|
|50.4||Escape||Escape network coming soon loop|
WFTT-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 50, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 47, using PSIP to display WFTT-TV's virtual channel as 50 on digital television receivers.
- The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook says February 1, while the Television and Cable Factbook says March 1.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WFTT
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations