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For the college television station, see WMTV (The College of William & Mary).
WMTV Logo.png
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
City 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; 63 years ago (1953-07-08)
Call letters' meaning Watch Madison TeleVision
Sister station(s) Eau Claire: WEAU
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.

WMTV's studios have been on Madison's southwest side since its 1953 launch. The station broke ground for a new facility at that same address in February 2016.[1] It is slated for completion by the following December. The old building will be demolished for parking.[2]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
15.1 1080i 16:9 WMTV-HD Main WMTV programming / NBC
15.2 480i WMTV-WX WeatherNation TV
(The CW, September 2016)
15.3 4:3 ANT-TV Antenna TV

WMTV-DT2 carried local weather mixed with The Local AccuWeather Channel until January 1, 2014, when it became affiliated with WeatherNation TV.[4] WMTV-DT3 launched on April 1, 2013, carrying Antenna TV.[5]

Upcoming CW affiliation[edit]

On December 15, 2015, Gray Television came to terms on an extension of their existing The CW stations and subchannels throughout their chain. The press release announcing the extension also revealed Gray agreed to place The CW on WMTV's DT2 subchannel in the fall of 2016; it will replace WBUW as Madison's CW affiliate at the time of that station's affiliation agreement expiry.[6] The status on WMTV of WeatherNation TV, which currently occupies subchannel 15.2, is currently unknown.

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.[7] 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 and western 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).[8]


  1. ^ "NBC15 breaks ground for new building," from NBC15.com, 2/10/2016
  2. ^ "Channel 15 stands to nearly double its square footage in new building", The Capital Times, November 17, 2015.
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WMTV
  4. ^ "WMTV, WeatherNation announce partnership," from NBC15.com, 12/31/2013
  5. ^ Source: NBC15 on Facebook, posted 3/29/2013
  6. ^ Kuperberg, Jonathan (15 December 2015). "Gray TV, The CW Ink Affiliate Agreement Extension, Add 4 New Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ Weeden, Tom (5 August 2013). "Digital TV Reception Difficulties". WMTV. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 

External links[edit]