|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)|
(shared with WPPT, WLVT-TV and WFMZ-TV)
Virtual: 60 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sonshine Family Television, Inc.|
First air date
|December 27, 1990|
Former channel number(s)
60 (UHF, 1990–2009)
Call sign meaning
|Bethlehem and Philadelphia (alternatively, Pat Huber, station founder)|
|HAAT||332.5 m (1,091 ft)|
Public license information
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. WBPH-TV's studios are located in Allentown, and its transmitter is located on South Mountain near Allentown (specifically Salisbury Township in the Lehigh Valley region of the state).
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2017)
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.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|60.1||720p||16:9||WBPH-D1||Main WBPH programming|
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 continued to broadcasts 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, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
WBPH broadcasts select programs from locally produced special interest programs, televangelism, three hours per week of legally mandated secular educational programming for children, and Lafayette College sports events. Since the station's inception, two of WBPH's original programs have been 60 Live and Bethlehem Glory, both hosted by station owner Pat Huber. The station affiliated with FamilyNet until it converted to a secular classic sitcom format in 2013 and ended all over-the-air affiliate contracts in 2017 after converting to a new Western sports format as The Cowboy Channel, and with The Worship Network until that network shut down in 2015. Unfilled airtime is occupied with "Song and Scripture" from Radiant TV, a service of WLMB.
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, though 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.
WBPH also previously carried the Easton-Phillipsburg Thanksgiving football game; that game, as of 2015, now airs on WFMZ.
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.
- "Modification of a Licensed Facility for DTV Application". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WBPH
- North East RadioWatch: July 15, 2002
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- WBPH website
- WBPH in the FCC TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database — Information on WBPH-TV