FOX Station (general)
Delmarva's News Leader
|Channels||Digital: WBOC-DT 21.2 (UHF)|
|Owner||Draper Holdings Business Trust
|First air date||March 3, 2003|
|Call letters' meaning||see WBOC|
|Former affiliations||UPN (2003–2006)|
|Transmitter power||740 kW (digital)|
|Height||279 m (digital)|
|Facility ID||71218 (digital)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WBOC-DT2 is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Delmarva Peninsula of Maryland and Delaware. It is a second digital subchannel of CBS affiliate WBOC-TV and is locally owned by Draper Holdings Business Trust. Over-the-air, the station broadcasts a standard definition digital signal on UHF channel 21.2 from a transmitter in the Ralphs section of Laurel, Delaware. Unlike most digital subchannels, WBOC-DT2 is one of a few identifying with its physical digital channel (21.2) rather than a traditional virtual channel (16.3) through PSIP. Therefore, the station is branded as FOX21 Delmarva.
On cable, it is carried on Verizon FiOS and Comcast channel 5 as well as DirecTV channel 17. WBOC-DT2's parent station has studios on North Salisbury Boulevard (U.S. 13 Business) in Salisbury, Maryland.
On July 23, 2014, DirecTV announced it was in a carriage dispute Draper Holdings, owner of WBOC-TV. It was announced that if Draper and DirecTV could not reach a fair deal before July 31, 2014, DirecTV would no longer be permitted to carry Draper Holding's stations. WBOC and FOX21 said they were asking for far less money than what DirecTV pays for national networks like ESPN – even though they claim their combined ratings are much higher than ESPN's ratings. DirecTV stated Draper wants seven times more in their new contract. On August 1, DirecTV and Draper Holdings reached a settlement, and the channels remain on the air with no blackouts.
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On March 3, 2003, WBOC launched this subchannel to be the area's UPN affiliate, known on-air as "UPN21 Total TV". Before then, either the network's Baltimore affiliates (first WNUV, and later WUTB) or WDCA in Washington, D.C. had been piped in on cable systems on the Maryland side of the market, while WPSG in Philadelphia had served the Delaware side. On January 24, 2006, UPN and The WB announced the two networks would cease broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents "C"BS (the parent company of UPN) and the "W"arner Bros. unit of Time Warner. ABC affiliate WMDT operated and promoted cable-exclusive WB affiliate "WBD" provided through The WB 100+.
It was announced on March 28 WMDT had gained The CW affiliation for the cable channel through similar service The CW Plus. The station then created a new second digital subchannel to offer access to CW programming for non-cable subscribers. On May 9, WBOC made public this subchannel would become a FOX affiliate beginning August 21, 2006. WMDT-DT2 became part of The CW at the network's launch on September 18, 2006. Before 2006, either WBFF in Baltimore or WTTG in Washington, D.C. had served as the FOX affiliate for the Maryland side of the market, while WTXF-TV in Philadelphia served the Delaware side.
When WBOC-DT2 became a FOX affiliate, the main channel began producing local news weeknights at 5 for a half-hour (known as WBOC News at 5 on FOX21) and every night at 10 also for thirty minutes (called WBOC News at 10 on FOX21). Both shows air from a secondary set and feature a separate graphics package. Weekday mornings at 6, this station simulcasts the second hour of the main channel's weekday morning show.
On August 26, 2008, WBOC began airing its local newscasts in high definition from a newly constructed addition to its studios known as the "NewsPlex". Since WBOC-DT2 airs in standard definition, its shows can only be seen in HD on Verizon FiOS and Comcast digital systems. In addition to the main facilities in Salisbury, the station operates Delaware bureaus in Dover (in the Rodney Village section on US 13/South Dupont Highway) and Milton (at The Square).
WBOC-DT2 features news personnel from WBOC. See that article for a complete listing.