WBOY, Comcast and Nexstar

So a lot has been in the “news” lately about how Monongalia and Preston Counties in WV will be losing WBOY-TV on March 14th, 2017. Now both Comcast and WBOY have pointed fingers at each other as to why the retransmission will cease on that date. WBOY states that it’s parent owner, NexStar Media Group, is not the reason it is being dropped. Also Comcast has been a little light on the information it has provided as why it is dropping it as well.

The interesting part about it is most people (or I should say all Comcast subscribers in Mon and Preston County) should have received a letter from Comcast stating that the station will be dropped on 3/14. I received a letter, however it was not for WBOY. But for another Nexstar Station WTEM-TV in Elmira NY. The premise was the same, the station is not in the receivers DMA (Designated Market Area) and Comcast states “our business agreement with the station’s owner to cary this out-of-market broadcast station has ended.”

What this reminds me of, and everyone has experienced it with cable and satellite services, is that the owner of a station, and it doesn’t have to be broadcast stations but could also be a “cable type station”, believes that the price that the cable/satellite provider is paying them for their station isn’t what they believe it is valued at. This happens all the time, and most recently Dish Network was going to drop WBOY from DISH the Friday before the Super Bowl. So my personal opinion is now that Nexstar owns WBOY / WTEM they asked Comcast for a increase in the retransmission fees, and Comcast said no because it (the station) was not a primary DMA station. So they dropped the contract and the viewers are left “hurt”.

What makes it more difficult with Mon/Preston County they are in the Pittsburgh DMA. (Which I actually like because I actually prefer the Pittsburgh Broadcast stations, they seem more professional and have less mishaps like running a commercial in the middle of program when there shouldn’t be one.) But I also see the viewers point of view too. WBOY has a small studio in Morgantown and do local news for the area. Whereas the Pittsburgh channels may only do a story about the area if it is something major.

Another issue to add to it is, while WBOY is a broadcast channel, it is a weaker signal. In addition it is on VHF, which with a digital signal, propagation is severely limited especially since their power output (effective radiated) is only 12.25kW vs. say WPXI in Pittsburgh (the NBC affiliate for the Pittsburgh DMA) which broadcasts on UHF 48 at a effective radiated power of 1,000kW. Given that north central West Virginia is a dissected plateau it means you need a antenna really high and very directional to pick up channel 12 or cable/satellite provider to provide you the signal. (I also live in a valley, which means the only station I can even begin to pick up is WNPB the PBS affiliate that is in Morgantown.) So viewers who want to keep WBOY only have a couple of solutions. The first would be to see if they can receive the signal, but according to this graphic, that seems a little hard for the Morgantown area for OTA reception:

graphic from tvfool.com

As you can see by the time it hits Morgantown it is very fringe reception. Also you may not have the ability to put an antenna outside to pick it up. So the second option would be Satellite, however those people would fall back in to the Comcast scenario, since Mon and Preston are part of the Pittsburgh DMA, the satellite provider will only give you those channels and none of the off-market channels. So you are left with not seeing the channel at all.

Now some people in the counties have been trying to get Mon and Preson reclassified in to the Clarksbug DMA. (I for one don’t want to see that as I like the Pittsburgh channels better…) I however don’t see this happening as the Pittsburgh stations would then fight they are losing a major source of viewership.

So the interesting part about this area, is there are 3 “major” TV markets that are in very close proximity. The largest is the Pittsburgh DMA which includes stations (major broadcast) KDKA (CBS), WTAE(ABC), WPXI(NBC), WQED(PBS),WNPB(PBS)[technically in Pittsburgh, but also listed in Clarksburg/Weston], WPGH(FOX), WPNT(MyNetwork). The other two are smaller markets. Clarksburg/Weston has 3 broadcast stations, WDTV (CBS), WVFX(FOX/CW) and WBOY (NBC/ABC). The third is the Wheeling WV/Steubenville OH which has 2 broadcast channels, WTRF (CBS/ABC/MyNetwork) and WTOV (NBC/FOX/MeTV)

Now when I lived at home with my parents we are pretty much in the middle of all three of these markets. I actually had several antenna’s in the attic that could pick up a lot of these stations, so we had several of each broadcast network. This is where I also became a video junkie and loved doing late night DXing of stations. Now my parents can only get the Pittsburgh stations on cable, even though the area could technically receive stations from all 3 markets.

But the whole reason for this post is my speculation of what actually happened vs what is being told to the customers. In short I believe Nexstar asked Comcast to provide them more money to be able to retransmit WBOY on the Mon and Preston Counties Comcast system. Comcast said, no you are a secondary so we will just drop you. And that was it, no more negotiation, no more looking out for the best interest of the viewers of the station, just drop it. While I seldom watched WBOY, there were times that I did when major events were going on in the state and the Pittsburgh channels were not covering it. It also begs to ask that if it really was a issue with the station being out of the primary DMA, then why is Comcast keeping WDTV and WVFX since they are out of the Clarksburg/Weston Market as well. Sure people will have to switch to one of those for local news, but I guess it is better than losing all 3 stations.

I doubt that Comcast will change their mind, even though they make billions of dollars a year. But in the reality I am surprised that the stations have been carried for as long as I have been here (over 23 years).

Comcast/XFinity TV lineup for Morgantown, WV

XFINITY TV Line up for Morgantown, WV

Since I keep seeing searches for what channel X is on in Morgantown here is a copy of the current lineup from Comcast for Morgantown, WV

Channel Name Limited Digital Economy Digital Starter Digital Preferred Digital Premier
2 KDKA-2 (CBS Pittsburgh) X X X X X
3 Local Programming X X X X X
4 WTAE-4 (ABC Pittsburgh) X X X X X
5 WDTV-5 (CBS Clarksburg) X X X X X
6 WPGH-53 (FOX Pittsburgh) X X X X X
7 WINP-16 (ION Pittsburgh) X X X X X
8 WNPB-24 (PBS Morgantown) X X X X X
9 WPMY My Network TV (Morgantown) X X X X X
10 QVC X X X X X
11 WPXI-11 (NBC Pittsburgh) X X X X X
12 WBOY-12 (NBC Clarksburg) X X X X X
13 WQED-13 (PBS Pittsburgh) X X X X X
14 WVFX-10 (FOX Clarksburg) X X X X X
15 Government Access X X X X X
16 WPCB-40 (Cornerstone TV) X X X X X
17 Headline News X X X X X
19 NBC Sports Network X X X
21 Inspiration X X X X X
22 WPCW-19 (CW Pittsburgh) X X X X X
23 HSN X X X X X
27 WGN X X X X X
28 The Weather Channel X X X X
29 Lifetime X X X X
30 FOX Sports 1 X X X
31 History X X X X
32 CNN X X X X
33 Fox News Channel X X X X
34 TBS X X X
36 ESPN2 X X X
37 Root Sports X X X
38 Golf Channel X X X
39 Food Network X X X X
40 Animal Planet X X X X
41 Disney Channel X X X X
42 Nickelodeon X X X
43 A&E X X X X
46 Travel Channel X X X
47 FX X X X
48 VH1 X X X
49 MTV X X X
50 ABC Family X X X
51 Comedy Central X X X X
52 TLC X X X
53 Discovery Channel X X X X
54 Syfy X X X
55 USA X X X X
56 TNT X X X
57 Bravo X X X
59 Spike X X X
60 TV Land X X X X
61 BET X X X X
63 AMC X X X X
70 style. X X X
82 CMT X X X
83 Cartoon Network X X X X
89 ShopNBC X X X X X
98 E! X X X X
100 Weatherscan Local X X
101 The HUB X X
102 Science Channel X X
103 Destination America X X
104 Investigation Discovery X X X
105 OWN X X X
106 Military Channel X X
107 Current X X
108 GSN X X
109 BBC America X X
111 BBC World News America X X
112 TBN X X X X X
113 Halogen X X
115 bio. X X X
116 H2 X X X X
117 Disney XD X X
118 Disney Jr X X
120 National Geographic X X
121 Smithsonian Channel X X
122 FOX Sports 1 X
124 MLB Network X X
125 Fox Soccer Channel X X
126 ShopNBC X X X X X
127 Outdoor Channel X X
128 Bloomberg Television X X X
129 G4 X X X
130 Discovery Fit & Health X X
131 ESPN Classic X
132 ESPNews X X
134 DIY X X
135 Cooking Channel X X
137 MTV2 X X
138 Fuse X X
139 MTV Jams X X
140 WE tv X X
141 TCM X X
143 CMT Pure Country X X
144 VH1 Classic X X
146 Fox Movie Channel X X
147 IFC X X
148 Nick Jr. X X
150 TV One X X
152 TeenNick X X
153 Nick2 X X
154 Nicktoons X X
155 VH1 Soul X X
156 GMC X X X
157 Centric X X X
158 The Word Network X X X
159 A SPiRE X X
160 MTV Hits X X
161 Logo X X
162 RLTV X X
163 LMN X X X
164 Sundance Channel X X
165 National Geographic Wild X X
166 FOX Sports 2 X X
167 GAC X X
170 ESPN Goal Line X
171 FCS Atlantic X
172 FCS Central X
173 FCS Pacific X
176 NuvoTV X X
177 NFL Network X X
184 C-SPAN 2 X X X X
185 C-SPAN 3 X X X
186 Sportsman Channel X X
188 WTAE This TV X X X X X
189 WPGH-The Country Network X X X X X
192 WDTV-Weather X X X X X
193 WQED X X X X X
194 WQED Create X X X X X
195 WQED The Neighborhood X X X X X
198 TKMI X X X X
201 HBO X X
202 HBO2 X X
203 HBO Signature X X
204 HBO Family X X
205 HBO Comedy X X
206 HBO Zone X X
207 HBO Latino X X
208 HBO West X X
209 Fox Business X X
221 Showtime X
222 Showtime 2 X
223 Showtime Showcase X
224 Showtime Extreme X
225 ION Life X X
227 WINP DT3 X
229 qubo X X
231 TMC (The Movie Channel)
232 TMCX (The Movie Channel Extra)
233 PBS Kids Sprout X X X
235 Flix X X
236 Hallmark Movie Channel X X X
241 Starz X X
242 Oxygen X X X
243 Starz Edge X X
244 Starz Kids & Family X X
245 Starz Cinema X X
247 Starz InBlack X X
248 Encore X X
250 Encore Love X X
251 Ovation X X
252 Encore Westerns X X
253 MoviePlex X X X
254 Encore Suspense X X
255 Hallmark Channel X X X X X
256 Encore Drama X X
258 Encore Action X X
259 truTV X X X X
260 Encore Family X X
262 Indieplex X X
263 Retroplex X X
264 TV Guide Network X X X X X
265 EWTN X X X X X
267 Big Ten Network X X
270 Cinemax X
271 MoreMAX X
272 ActionMAX X
273 ThrillerMAX X
274 MAX West X
276 NHL Network X X
277 NFL Network X X
286 beIN Sports X
287 NBA TV X X
288 CBS Sports X X
289 Tennis Channel X
290 TVG Network X
300-307 PPV Movies X X X
341 Playboy TV X X X
342 TEN X X X
343 Julcy X X X
344 REAL X X X
345 Penthouse TV X X X
351 TMC-HD X X
401-446 Music Channels X X X
501-506 Sports PPV X X X
531-544 NHL/MLB Games X X X
560 Local Originiation
561 WFDC (Univision) {Spanish}
563 WMDOLD (UniMas Low Power) {Spanish}
565 WZDCLP {Spanish}
567 GALA {Spanish}
570 CNN Espanol {Spanish}
571 SUR {Spanish}
575 TDCES {Spanish}
577 HISTE {Spanish}
579 HITN {Spanish}
581 BEIN2 {Spanish}
584 FXDEP {Spanish}
585 ESPND {Spanish}
592 BABY1AS {Spanish}
593 DFAME {Spanish}
597 EWTNES {Spanish}
598 LFC {Spanish}
599 ENLUSA {Spanish}
601 MEXCAN {Spanish}
602 52MXI {Spanish}
604 TFORM {Spanish}
605 MULTV2 {Spanish}
606 CBTV {Spanish}
607 XEIPNUS {Spanish}
611 WAPAUS {Spanish}
612 DOMIN {Spanish}
615 CARAI {Spanish}
616 TVCOL {Spanish}
617 TVVEN {Spanish}
618 TVE! {Spanish}
620 TEFEI {Spanish}
621 TVNI {Spanish}
622 ECUAVI {Spanish}
623 SURPERU {Spanish}
626 CENTROA {Spanish}
627 UTLSMUS {Spanish}
630 TR3S {Spanish}
631 mun2 X X
633 THITUS {Spanish}
634 TELEP {Spanish}
635 RITUS {Spanish}
636 BANDAUS {Spanish}
637 VROLA {Spanish}
638 HIPTV {Spanish}
641 DEPELUS {Spanish}
642 PASNUS {Spanish}
643 DEPELC {Spanish}
644 VMEKIDS {Spanish}
645 CMEX {Spanish}
646 LATAMSP {Spanish}
647 CINLUS {Spanish}
648 UNIMWST {Spanish}
649 VMOV {Spanish}
650 UNIP {Spanish}
651 GRNCINE {Spanish}
667 CRIC {Spanish}
699 WNPB-Two (PBS Morgantown) X X X X X
701-710 NBA/MLS PPV X X X
750 HBO-HD X X
751 Showtime-HD X
752 Starz-HD X X
753 Cinemax-HD X
785 iNDemand PPV – HD X X
787 NBA/MLS PPV HD (iNDemand Team) X X
789 iNDemand Game-HD (NHL/MLB) X X
790 iNDemand Game 2-HD (NHL/MLB) X X
802 KDKA-2 HD (CBS Pittsburgh) X X
803 WPGH-HD (FOX Pittsburgh) X X
804 804WTAE-4 HD (ABC Pittsburgh) X X
805 WPCB-40 HD (Cornerstone TV) X X X X X
806 QVC-HD X X
807 WINP-16 HD (ION Pittsburgh) X X X X X
808 WPCW-19 HD (CW Pittsburgh) X X
809 HSN-HD X X
810 WNPB-24 HD (PBS Morgantown) X X
811 WPXI-11 HD (NBC Pittsburgh) X X
812 WPMY-22 HD (My Network TV Pittsburgh) X X
813 WQED-13 HD (PBS Pittsburgh) X X
814 Bloomberg HD X X X
815 Weather Channel-HD X X
816 Headline News HD X X
817 CNN-HD X X
820 Fox News Channel-HD X X
821 Fox Business Channel HD X X
822 Universal-HD X X
823 USA-HD X X
824 FX-HD X X
825 TNT-HD X X
826 TBS-HD X X
827 Spike-HD X X
828 Comedy Central-HD X X
829 Syfy-HD X X
830 Hallmark-HD X X
831 A&E-HD X X
832 Bravo-HD X X
833 E!-HD X X
834 style. HD X X
835 Lifetime-HD X X
836 We tv HD X X
837 TLC-HD X X
839 Food-HD X X
840 Travel Channel-HD X X
841 truTV HD X X
843 Root Sports-HD X X
848 NBC Sports Network-HD X X
849 Golf Channel-HD X X
851 ESPN2-HD X X
852 ESPNews HD X X
854 CBS Sports- Network HD X X
855 Big Ten Network-HD X X
857 Speed Channel-HD X X
859 MLB Network-HD X X
860 NFL Network-HD X X
861 NFL RedZone-HD X X
862 Tennis Channel-HD X X
864 Outdoor Channel-HD X X
865 TV One HD X X
866 BET-HD X X
867 G4 HD X X
868 Animal Planet-HD X X
869 Discovery-HD X X
870 Velocity HD X X
871 National Geographic-HD X X
872 Science Channel-HD X X
873 Destination America HD X X
874 bio.-HD X X
875 History-HD X X
876 History International-HD X X
877 Disney XD HD X X
878 Cartoon Network-HD X X
879 Nickelodeon-HD X X
880 Disney Channel-HD X X
881 ABC Family-HD X X
882 Palladia HD X X
883 CMT-HD X X
884 MTV-HD X X
885 Fuse HD X X
886 VH1-HD X X
887 GMC HD X X X
889 AMC-HD X X
890 TCM HD X X
891 Encore HD X X
892 MGM HD X X
893 IFC HD X X
894 Hallmark Movie Channel HD X X
895 LMN-HD X X
899 Investigation Discovery-HD X X
905 WDTV – HD X X X X X
910 WVFX – HD X X X X X
912 WBOY-12 HD (NBC Clarksburg) X X
915 Smithsonian Channel HD X X
917 Sportsman Channel-HD X X
946 Ovation HD X X
980 ESPN 3D X X
981 Xfinity 3D HD X X
1116 Bloomberg HD X X X
1225 BBC America HD X X X
1325 GSN HD X X
1334 Oxygen HD X X X
1505 Sprout HD X X X
1511 Hub HD X X
1711 NHL HD X X
1712 NBA TV HD X X
1770 NBA TV HD X X

Comcast line up for morgantown

I hadn’t done this in a while, and since I was having problems with some channels on the tivo, I needed to get the exact frequency that was having the problem. So for those who care, here are the current Comcast Channels in the Morgantown Area with their Frequency allotments, Comcast Channel, real RF channel, and if ClearQAM that as well. Each file is sorted by either Comcast Channel number, RF channel number or frequency.

Channels By Comcast Channel Number

Channels by Frequency

Channels by RF Channel Number

The current ClearQAM channels are:

QAM Channel Comcast Channel Station
5.1 705 WDTV HD – CBS
5.2 192 WDTV Weather
7.12 ??? Comcast PPB Barker Channel
8.2 16 WPCB
8.3 2 KDKA – CBS
8.4 6 WPGH – FOX
8.5 4 WTAE – ABC
8.6 13 WQED – PBS
8.7 9 WPMY – MyNetwork
8.8 11 WPXI – NBC
8.9 22 WPCW – CW
10.1 714 WVFX HD – FOX
10.2 None WVFX – CW
18.6 5 WDTV – CBS
18.7 12 WBOY – NBC
18.8 14 WVFX – FOX
18.10 15 Local Government
18.11 3 Local announcements
19.1 710 / 808 WPCW HD – CW
20.1 25 C-SPAN
20.11 198 T.K.M.I.
21.3 8 WNPB – PBS
21.5 699 WNPB2 – Create
21.6 712/810 WNPB HD – PBS
85.111 300 PPV Barker
91.2101 704/804 WTAE HD – ABC
91.2102 188 this
91.2103 713/813 WQED HD – PBS
91.2104 194 WQED – Create
91.2105 195 WQED – Neighborhood
92.2201 711/811 WPXI HD – NBC
92.2203 702/802 KDKA HD – CBS
92.2204 190 retro
103.707 501 ESPNPPV1
103.708 502 ESPNPPV2
103.709 503 ESPNPPV3
103.710 504 ESPNPPV4
103.711 505 ESPNPPV5
103.712 506 ESPNPPV6
109.2301 706/803 WPGH HD – FOX
109.2302 707/812 WPMY HD – MyNetwork
109.2303 196 CoolTV
109.2304 189 WPGH Secondary channel

Comcast Channel Frequencies

Spent the other night updating the list. It now seems that if you are using a cable box in the Morgantown area, it uses QAM for every channel on it. The only way to see the analog channels is to connect the cable directly to the TV. This is just them getting one step closer to requiring a cable box for every tv in the house. The only channels that will be left will be the local broadcast type channels. So here is a list of channels that I was able to determine what frequencies and qam channels they are on:

Comcast Channel Lineup for Morgantown WV

It is sorted by the frequency in case you are wondering why stuff is “out of order”.

Comcast Morgantown QAM Update

It seems that comcast is getting ready for the use of those little cable boxes. Rescanned today and found this (all in the clear):
2.1 – KDKA HD
4.1 – WTAE HD
4.2 – this Pittsburgh
5.1 – WDTV HD
7.2601 – WPCW CW Pittsburgh HD
11.1 – WPXI HD
11.2 – Retro TV
13.1 – WQED HD
13.2 – WQED – Create
13.3 – WQED – Neighborhoood
16.1 – WQEX / Shop NBC
18.1 – WVCW CW Clarksburgh
18.6 – WDTV SD
18.7 – WBOY SD
18.8 – WVFX SD
18.9 – WNPB D1
18.10 – Local Government channel (analog 15)
18.11 – Local Channel (analog 3)
20.1 – CSPAN
22.1 – WPMY HD
24.1 – WNPB D1
24.2 – WNPB D2 – Create
24.3 – WNPB HD
40.1 – WPCB – Religous
53.1 – WPGH HD
79.3 – KDKA SD
79.4 – WPGH SD
79.5 – WTAE SD
79.6 – WQED SD
79.7 – WPMY SD
79.8 – WPXI SD
79.9 – WPCW SD
79.10 – Fox Sports Pittsburgh
79.11 – WGN Chicago
85.111 – PPV Barker Channel
86.1316 – Music Choice
90.601 – Current

I am not sure why they decided to put all the locals on Analog, HD and SD. But I have a feeling I know why… I just wish they would make the cartoon network in the clear.