Good news for Greenwood. Granted, it isn't HD, but for those looking to pick up a FOX signal OTA - this should bridge the gap until HD becomes available.
September 6, 2006
For Immediate Release:
Bahakel Communications, Ltd., owners and operators of WABG-TV, the ABC Affiliate, and WABG Radio in Greenwood, will also begin offering local service of the Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) over the air and on cable effective Wednesday, September 13, 2006, according to an announcement by Sherry Nelson, Vice President and General Manager of both stations.
We are very pleased and excited to be able to offer the outstanding lineup of FOX entertainment and sports programming to our loyal viewers and advertisers, she said, especially since the FOX Net programming service was no longer going to be available on cable systems throughout our coverage area after September 12.
Nelson said that WABG has just completed a $1.3m installation of a new digital transmission facility that currently broadcasts the ABC Television Network in HD on digital channel 6.1 in addition to its regular analog service on Channel 6.
Due to the advanced capabilities of WABG's new digital transmitter, it is now possible for us to broadcast additional programming on a second digital channel. In this case, the FOX will be able to be viewed over the air on the Delta's most powerful digital station on digital channel 6.2 with an outside antenna connected to a new digital television set and if you have cable, Fox will not move. You can see it on the same channel where you've enjoyed it in the past.
She added cable viewers will not be required to own a new digital set in order to receive the Fox programming because the cable systems have the ability to convert the digital over the air signal to a regular analog signal on the cable channel. We are delighted to be able to work with our cable partners to be able to bring these popular FOX sports events and entertainment programs to the region.
Initially, WABG-DT will be operating with a temporary installation from its transmitter site and will be limited in its local program offerings including newscasts. We have not determined what new newscasts or other community programs we will be able to do right away but we are more focused on providing the FOX programming, Nelson said.
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Simply getting FOX on the air required an incredibly fast and creative effort by our technical people who are currently working around the clock to make the goal of being on the air on September 13. As soon as we are comfortable with the temporary' technical set up and know that it is operating reliably we will begin work on a permanent' installation at our studios in Greenville.
We anticipate this process will take approximately six to eight months since we will have to do some construction work to make room for an expanded master control area for the FOX equipment as well as ordering and installing all new equipment. As soon as all of the technical work is completed we will begin a new news service with at least one newscast at 9 PM. We will also roll out additional new programs throughout the broadcast day over the course of the next few months thereafter.
John Hookstratten, Executive Vice President of Fox Network Distribution, said that FOX is very pleased with the relationship that we enjoy with Bahakel. We know what excellent operators they are and what a good job they will do for us in Greenwood/Greenville.
The move to digital broadcasting has been mandated by Congress and beginning in February, 2009 all analog broadcasting will cease and only digital signals will be available.
Bahakel Communications, Ltd. owns and operates five other television stations in addition to WABG-TV in Charlotte, NC; Montgomery, Ala; Jackson, TN; Columbia, SC; and Myrtle Beach, SC; and radio stations in Waterloo, Iowa; Colorado Springs, Col; Chattanooga, TN; in addition to WABG.