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For the college television station, see WMTV (The College of William & Mary).
WMTV Logo.png
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
City of license Madison
Branding NBC 15 (general)
NBC 15 News (newscasts)
NBC 15 Weather Authority (weather & DT2)
Antenna TV 15.3 (DT3)
Slogan Coverage You Can Count On
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
Subchannels 15.1 NBC
15.2 WeatherNation TV
15.3 Antenna TV
Owner Gray Television, Inc.
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date July 8, 1953 (1953-07-08)
Call letters' meaning Watch Madison TeleVision
Sister station(s) Eau Claire: WEAU
Wausau: WSAW
Rockford, IL: WIFR
Former channel number(s) Analog:
33 (UHF, 1953-1960)
15 (UHF, 1960-2009)
Former affiliations Both secondary:
ABC (1953-1956)
DuMont (1953-1955)
AccuWeather (2007-2013)
Transmitter power 155 kW
Height 414.8 m
Facility ID 6870
Transmitter coordinates 43°3′2.5″N 89°29′13″W / 43.050694°N 89.48694°W / 43.050694; -89.48694
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.nbc15.com

WMTV (digital channel 19 and PSIP virtual channel 15) is a NBC affiliated television station serving Madison, Wisconsin. The station is owned and operated by Gray Television, and has its studio and transmitter located on Forward Drive in Madison.


WMTV signed on the air in July 1953 on channel 33 and was an affiliate of ABC, DuMont, and NBC. In 1956, WKOW-TV, which had the CBS affiliation, picked up the ABC affiliation from WMTV after losing CBS to then-new VHF station WISC-TV, thus resulting in WMTV becoming solely affiliated with NBC.

In 1960, WMTV switched channels from 33 to 15, where it remained until analog broadcasting ceased just before midnight on February 17, 2009. The station's over-the-air broadcasts are now on digital channel 19, though it is found through PSIP protocol on virtual channel 15.

On October 16, 2010, WMTV became the second commercial TV station in Madison to produce all of its newscasts in high-definition, the first being WISC-TV. On October 18, 2010, the station also began airing its flagship syndicated programs Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in HD.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
15.1 1080i 16:9 WMTV-HD Main WMTV programming / NBC
15.2 480i WMTV-WX WeatherNation TV
15.3 4:3 ANT-TV Antenna TV

Subchannel 15.1 is the channel and carries local, syndicated, and NBC programming. Subchannel 15.2 is devoted to the station's "The Weather Authority 24/7" updates, and carried content from The Local AccuWeather Channel from 2007 until affiliating with WeatherNation on January 1, 2014.[2] Subchannel 15.3, formally launched on April 1, 2013, is affiliated with the classic TV and movie network Antenna TV.[3]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WMTV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, just before midnight on February 17, 2009, the original target date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 19.[4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15. Then in a final sign-off similar to early U.S. television broadcasts, a live camera shot of the U.S. and Wisconsin state flags aired as "The Star Spangled Banner", the U.S. national anthem, played in the background. The station then switched to the black-and-white Indian Head test pattern for one or two minutes before permanently switching off the analog signal.

Although the final analog-to-digital conversion date for U.S. television stations was extended to June 12, 2009, the station opted to switch on the original date of February 17 because it had been heavily promoting that conversion date on the air and through community outreach events in the Madison coverage area.

The station's channel 19 signal is also used by Chicago's WGN-TV and WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan, causing interference between it and those two stations in the easternmost portions of their coverage area, mainly in Walworth County, which is just outside the Madison market (though WXMI's signal is limited by the Kettle Moraine range west of Jefferson County).


External links[edit]