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WXPX-TV, virtual channel 66 (UHF digital channel 42), is a Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, United States that is licensed to Bradenton. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. WXPX's studios are located on 66th Street North in Clearwater, and its transmitter is located in Riverview.

HistoryEdit

The station first signed on the air on August 1, 1994 as WFCT; the station was founded by Paxson Communications, which was renamed Ion Media Networks in 2007. It originally ran an all-infomercial format as an affiliate of the Paxson-owned Infomail TV Network (or inTV), and also carried programming from The Worship Network during the overnight hours. The station also broadcast games from the now-defunct Atlanta Knights minor league hockey franchise, which was affiliated with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. At the time, Paxson also owned a chain of radio stations in Florida. Paxson's Tampa Bay radio cluster regularly received commercial time on WFCT; this ended when Paxson sold off his radio and billboard businesses to fund start up operations for the Pax TV network.

The station changed its call letters to WXPX-TV in 1998; the station then became a charter owned-and-operated station of Pax TV (which rebranded as i: Independent Television on July 1, 2006 and later to Ion Television on January 29, 2007) when it debuted on August 31 of that year, after which it rebranded as "Pax 66". The Worship Network and infomercial remained on the station's schedule but it also carried the network's family-oriented programming.

From 2004 to 2008, WXPX became the over-the-air broadcaster of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Major League Baseball franchise, airing a number of games that were not televised on a national broadcast or cable network. It also carried NBA games from the Orlando Magic through the syndicated Magic Television Network. The rights to those games later exclusively moved to regional sports networks Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports.


TV stations in Florida
WPXM, Miami

WXPX, Bradenton
WOGX-DT3, Gainesville
WPXC, Brunswick/Jacksonville
WOPX, Melbourne
WPXP, Lake Worth

TV stations in the Tampa Bay Area
WEDU 3 (PBS)
WFLA 8 (NBC)
WTSP 10 (CBS)
WTVT 13 (Fox)
WPDS-LD 14 (ETV)
W15CM-D 15 (HSN)
WEDQ 16 (PBS)
WSVT-LD 18 (Daystar)
WARP-CD 20 (Info)
WCLF 22 (CTN)
WXAX-CD 26 (AZA)
WFTS 28 (ABC)
WTAM-LD 30 (MEGA)
WMOR 32 (Ind)
W40CU-D 33 (HSN)
WSPF-CD 35 (ATeVe)
WTTA 38 (MNTV)
WSNN-LD 39 (Ind)
WWSB 40 (ABC)
W16DQ-D 43 (SBN)
WTOG 44 (CW)
WZRA-CD 48 (ETH)
WRMD-CD 49 (TLM)
WVEA 50 (UNI)
WFTT 62 (UMas)
WXPX 66 (Ion)
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