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Bowling Green, Ohio
United States
Branding WBGU
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
Subchannels 27.1 PBS
27.2 PBS Kids/Encore
27.3 Create
Owner Bowling Green State University
First air date February 10, 1964; 53 years ago (1964-02-10)
Call letters' meaning Bowling
State University
Former channel number(s) 70 (UHF analog, 1964–1973)
57 (UHF analog, 1973–1986)
27 (UHF analog, 1986–2008)
56 (UHF digital, 2003–2008)
Former affiliations NET (1964–1970)
Transmitter power 153 kW
Height 320 m
Facility ID 6568
Transmitter coordinates 41°8′12″N 83°54′24″W / 41.13667°N 83.90667°W / 41.13667; -83.90667
Website www.wbgu.org

WBGU-TV is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member Public television station in Bowling Green, Ohio operated by the Bowling Green State University. Unlike its companion radio station, WBGU (FM), WBGU-TV is not primarily operated by students at the university. Although, the station does offer many different student positions that allows the students to gain experience.

The station was founded in 1964 and currently operates at the Tucker Center for Telecommunications on the BGSU campus. (While officially part of the BGSU campus, the Tucker Center is actually located two blocks south of Wooster Street, which marks much of the southern boundary of the campus.) Each weekday during the academic term of public schools in the Great Black Swamp region, WBGU-TV broadcasts six hours of educational programming provided (and, in some cases, created) by the Northwest Ohio Educational Technology Foundation. The NWOET is operated at the Tucker Center, but is a non-profit state agency separate from the university.

Digital channels[edit]

Channels Video Aspect PSIP short name Programming
27.1 1080i 16:9 WBGU-DT Main WBGU-TV programming / PBS
27.2 480i 4:3 Encore WBGU Kids 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
WBGU Encore (locally produced programs) 6 p.m.-midnight
The Ohio Channel midnight-6 a.m.
27.3 Create Create


On February 10, 1964, WBGU-TV (originally licensed to Lima but operating in Bowling Green)[citation needed] broadcast for the first time, and, unusually for a U.S. television station, would undergo two frequency changes in its first quarter century. The station first operated on channel 70, and moved to channel 57 in 1973 (it was the last full-power station to broadcast on a channel 70 or above in the United States); it would move to channel 27 in 1986.[1] WBGU originally wanted to move to channel 27 in the early 1970s, but protests from the nearby WGTE-TV in Toledo, which operated on the adjacent channel 30 at the time and, because of significant territorial overlap, feared confusion between the two channels, prompted state and University officials to settle for the higher channel number.[2]

The station first broadcast from a small studio located in the university's South Hall. After the Moore Musical Arts Center was built in 1979, the university's radio stations and telecommunications department (then the department of radio, television, and film) moved to West Hall, which formerly housed the university's college of music. Sometime after that, WBGU-TV moved to a new building located at 245 Troup Avenue in Bowling Green; the building was renamed the Tucker Center on May 6, 1994.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, WBGU maintained a low-powered repeater in Fort Wayne, Indiana on channel 39, W39AA (later to affiliate with Indianapolis' WFYI), which became full-powered WFWA in 1985.

Former WGBU-TV logo

Today, WBGU-TV broadcasts to nineteen counties in northwestern and west central Ohio including the markets of Toledo and Lima. With most attic antennas, WBGU's signal can be tuned in as far west as Fort Wayne and as far north as central Lenawee County, Michigan. During tropospheric conditions, it can be seen as far as Melvindale, Michigan, 87 miles away with a very advanced indoor antenna.

In Toledo, Buckeye Cablesystem carries WBGU-TV on cable channel 57, which is, ironically, the station's previous channel number on the UHF dial. No subchannels are on Buckeye CableSystem.

WBGU turned off its analog transmitter at midnight on December 14, 2008, and relocated its digital signal from channel 56 to channel 27.[3]

Spectrum Auction[edit]

WBGU-TV was considering selling off its UHF frequency as part of the digital spectrum auction, for mobile bandwidth use, but pulled out late in the auction bidding process. The station will remain on the air, but will be relocating to UHF 22 from UHF 27 at least 18 months from now.[4]


External links[edit]