WBGH-CD, virtual and UHF digital channel 20, is a low-powered, Class A NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Binghamton, New York, United States and serving the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it is a sister station to ABC affiliate WIVT (channel 34). The two stations share studios and transmitter facilities on Ingraham Hill Road in the town of Binghamton. WBGH-CD can also be seen on Charter Spectrum channel 5 (hence the NBC 5 branding) and in full high definition on digital channel 1203.
Even though WBGH-CD transmits a digital signal of its own, its broadcast range is limited to the immediate Binghamton area. However, in order to serve the entire market, full power sister station WIVT has carried WBGH on its second digital subchannel in 720p high definition since February 9, 2010.
The original construction permit for the station was granted on November 10, 1993 and issued the call sign W08DL, reflecting its facilities on VHF channel 8. W08DL applied for a license to cover the permit in July 1996 and was granted it on August 12. That same year, Elmira NBC outlet WETM-TV became Binghamton's default NBC affiliate after WICZ-TV (channel 40), the market's longtime NBC station, switched to Fox in wake of similar affiliation switches in other parts of the country. Initially, through a form of local marketing agreement (LMA), a cable-only Binghamton version of WETM was launched in April 1996; under this arrangement, Time Warner Cable sold Binghamton-market advertising and replaced syndicated programs that aired on other Binghamton stations with programming acquired by WETM for the Binghamton market, while WETM sold regional advertising seen in both markets.
W08DL changed its call letters to WBGH-LP on August 22, 1997; on October 23, original owner David Grant sold WBGH to Smith Broadcasting, owner of WETM, with plans to make channel 8 an over-the-air semi-satellite of WETM. As time went on, WBGH largely separated from the WETM partial simulcast but continued to air that station's newscasts.
In 2000, Smith Broadcasting sold WBGH-LP to the Ackerley Group of Seattle, Washington, which also entered into an LMA to take over operations of WETM. With this sale, WBGH's last ties with WETM were severed as Ackerley already owned WIVT (channel 34). WBGH moved its operations into WIVT's studios on Ingraham Hill south of Binghamton.
In 2001, the station upgraded to Class A status, moved to UHF channel 20 (to accommodate WICZ's digital signal on channel 8), and changed call letters to WBGH-CA. Ackerley merged with Clear Channel Communications on June 14, 2002. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting group established by Providence Equity Partners; the deal was completed on March 14, 2008.
Newport announced on July 19, 2012 that it would sell twelve of its stations, including WBGH and WIVT, to Nexstar. The sale was finalized on December 3. On September 16, 2013, it was announced that Mission Broadcasting would acquire WICZ and low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WBPN-LP from the Stainless Broadcasting Company subsidiary of Northwest Broadcasting. Upon the deal's completion, the stations' operations would have been taken over by Nexstar making them sisters to WBGH and WIVT. In March 2015, Mission's purchase of WICZ and WBPN was canceled; as a result, Stainless withdrew the license assignment applications on March 18.
|TV stations in New York|
|WNBC, New York City|
|TV stations in Central Southern Tier of New York including Binghamton|
|WBPN-LP 10 (MNTV) |
WBNG 12 (CBS)
WBGH-CD 20 (NBC)
WIVT 34 (ABC)
WICZ 40 (Fox)
WSKG 46 (PBS)