MHz Networks

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Goldvein/Fairfax, Virginia/Washington, D.C.
United States
City WNVT: Goldvein, Virginia
WNVC: Fairfax, Virginia
Branding MHz Networks
Slogan Programming for Globally-Minded People
Channels Digital:
WNVT: 30 (UHF)
WNVC: 24 (UHF)
Both stations: 30 (PSIP)
Subchannels See below
Affiliations Non-commercial Independent
Owner Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation
First air date WNVT: March 1, 1972 (45 years ago) (1972-03-01)
WNVC: May 25, 1983 (34 years ago) (1983-05-25)
Call letters' meaning WNVT: Northern Virginia Television
WNVC: Northern Virginia College
Former channel number(s) Analog:
WNVT: 53 (UHF, 1972–2003)
WNVC: 56 (UHF, 1981–2008)
WNVC: 57 (UHF)
Former affiliations PBS (1972–1999)
Transmitter power WNVT: 160 kW
WNVC: 160 kW
Height WNVT: 229 m (751 ft)
WNVC: 221 m (725 ft)
Class NCE DT
Facility ID WNVT: 10019
WNVC: 9999
Transmitter coordinates WNVT:
38°37′43″N 77°26′21″W / 38.62861°N 77.43917°W / 38.62861; -77.43917 (WNVT)Coordinates: 38°37′43″N 77°26′21″W / 38.62861°N 77.43917°W / 38.62861; -77.43917 (WNVT)
38°52′28″N 77°13′24″W / 38.87444°N 77.22333°W / 38.87444; -77.22333 (WNVC)

MHz Networks is a Northern Virginia-based independent, non-commercial educational broadcaster that serves the Washington, D.C. television market with 12 digital broadcast channels. The legal broadcast callsigns for the two stations are WNVC (UHF digital channel 24) and WNVT (UHF digital channel 30), rebranded as MHz Networks. WNVC is licensed to Fairfax, Virginia and WNVT is licensed to Goldvein, Virginia.

MHz Networks headquarters and studios are located in Falls Church, Virginia with an additional business office/studio located at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

MHz Networks also distributes national multicast and cable channel MHz Worldview.


WNVT first signed on March 1, 1972 on channel 53 as Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station "Northern Virginia Public TV".

As WNVT is located to the south of the Washington metropolitan area, translator W14AA was on the air from Fairfax by 1976 to increase coverage.[1] WNVT began building WNVC in 1981, and received special permission to broadcast Congressional hearings over W14AA.[2]

WNVC signed on in May 1983 on channel 56, after being known as WIAH during the construction process. (W14AA was sold in late 1981 and still broadcasts today as WMDO-CD.) Since channel 56 signed on, the two stations were operated from the same Northern Virginia studios. As the Washington market already had two full-service PBS stations in WETA-TV and WMPT, WNVC did not operate as a repeater of WNVT. Instead, it continued W14AA's coverage of Congress, along with State Department briefings, the Virginia General Assembly, and county and local governments. At the time, WNVC was billed as the only public television station independent of PBS in the nation.[3]

On weekends in the late 1980s, WNVC gained an unusual reputation for sports coverage. The station showed as many syndicated college basketball games as possible, including from the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in the era before every game was on television. As there was generally only demand for Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference games in Washington, WNVC picked up games from major and minor conferences in other regions for relatively low cost. Its noncommercial status in turn freed it from the prospect of having to sell advertising for games that were likely to draw microscopic audiences. Director of development Mike Baker went on air during commercial breaks and halftimes with live pitches for donations. This stream of programming began to dry up in the early 1990s, when CBS and ESPN began national coverage of the entire tournament and increased coverage of regular-season games.[4][5]

The WNVT studios were originally at Northern Virginia Community College. When the station was under construction, the school offered an associate of arts in broadcast engineering technology.

In 1994, WNVC was rebranded as "World View TV", carrying international television programming in multiple languages. WNVT continued as a standard PBS member station until 1999.[6][7]

In 2001, the two stations became known as MHz Networks, with WNVC becoming MHz and WNVT becoming MHz2. In 2003, WNVT became digital-only on channel 30. On September 1, 2008, WNVC ceased broadcasting in analog permanently and took the digital broadcast silent to perform technical modifications. WNVC has a construction permit (now on-air) to relocate its digital signal to channel 24, after WUTB in Baltimore vacated its analog signal on June 12, 2009.[8]

In July 2009, Washington, D.C. TV stations became a test market for Mobile DTV, and WNVT was one of the participating stations.[9]

Like all of the D.C.-area Mobile DTV broadcasters, WNVC-TV commenced ATSC-M/H broadcasting on February 27, 2011. WNVC-TV also has two Mobile DTV feeds, one of subchannel 30.1 (MHz Worldview), labelled "MHz 1", and a feed of sister station WNVT's 30.7 (France 24, showing up as 30.2), labelled "MHz 7", broadcasting at 3.67 Mbit/s.[10][11]

Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation owns the licenses for WNVC and WNVT; MHz Networks is now a separate entity, and programs the two stations under contract. CPBC announced on March 31, 2017 that it had sold the licenses in the Federal Communications Commission's ongoing spectrum reallocation auction for $182 million. The two stations will go off the air by January 23, 2018 and have their channel space turned over to the FCC for use by wireless companies.[12] Neither station has announced a plan to continue operations through a channel-sharing agreement with another Washington-area station. In an October 2017 filing to request an additional three months, CPBC indicated it was preparing to relocate both stations to Richmond, Virginia in order to channel-share with its own WCVE-TV and WCVW.[13]


Channel numbers given are digital virtual channels, with six being transmitted by each station. Both stations feature international programming 24 hours daily.[14]


Services formerly offered[edit]

These digital subchannels are no longer offered:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "In brief" (PDF). Broadcastign. December 27, 1976. p. 20. 
  2. ^ "WMDO-CD Facility Data". FCCData. 
  3. ^ "Insights on New Stations" (PDF). Television News. WTFDA. August 1983. 
  4. ^ Steinberg, Dan (21 March 2014). "When D.C. public television showed college basketball". Washington Post. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Patricia (13 March 1988). "Following the bouncing basketball". Washington Post. 
  6. ^ "A day in D.C" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 22, 1995. p. 47. 
  7. ^ "MHz in DC". MHz Networks. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  9. ^ Dickson, Glen (2009-07-13). "Special Report: Mobile DTV Heats Up". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  10. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  11. ^ "NameBright". Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  12. ^ Blackwell, John Reid (2017-03-31). "WCVE's owner to get nearly $182 million from broadcast spectrum auction". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  13. ^ "DTV Legal STA Application". 
  14. ^ "Schedule". MHz Networks. 
  15. ^ "MHz TV Schedule - Week of 12/18/2016". 
  16. ^

External links[edit]