TV Technical Profile: WMPV


Channel:
20
18
(CP)
Programming:
21.1 - TBN
21.2 - Hillsong Channel
21.3 - JUCE / Smile of a Child
21.4 - Enlace USA
21.5 - TBN Salsa
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] South of Patterson Road in Baldwin County, just south of of I-10.  Co-located with WSRE-DT, WDPM-DT and WPMI-DT; FM stations WXBM, WRGV and WTKX.
Power (ERP):
700 kW
1000 kW
(CP)
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
1,736 feet
Antenna:
Directional
Other Information:
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
41 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC. (FCCdata Link) (CP)
[FCC]
[FCCdata]
[RabbitEars]
[Wikipedia]
[Facebook] TBN's Facebook page
History:
This station dates back to an early-80's construction permit for an independent local commercial TV station.  The WMPV calls, assigned in 1982, stood for Mobile-Pensacola-Video.  The station went through several ownership changes and two expired permits before it finally got up and running in July of 1987 with a slate of what was likely low budget off-network programming.  Rel-way Partnership was listed as the owners during this time, and they built an enormously expensive, elaborate studio in West Mobile, which was soon abandoned.  Later the studio moved to the old WPMI studios in Tower on Ryan Park.  The station struggled to attract an audience and appears to have had little luck getting on Mobile and Pensacola area cable TV systems in its earliest incarnation, and also suffered from periods of being off the air.  Desperate to attract an audience, the station tried music videos from the Houston-based Hit Video USA network.  That only lasted a short time before the station finally threw in the towel and sold to a local religious group, Sonlight Broadcasting Systems.  They changed to religious programming and the era of WMPV as a commercial station was at its end.  Sonlight sold the station to All American TV, Inc. in 1997.  All American was a name used by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, who put their TBN programming on the station after acquiring it.  They moved the studios to their current location off the Beltway in Mobile, fronting I-65.

During the station's analog broadcasting years, the antenna was side-mounted on the WJTC-TV tower in Baldwin County.  With the digital switchover, it relocated to one of the two big master tower sites a little further west to be co-located with several other stations.
 
This station elected to discontinue analog broadcasts sometime before the new June 12th deadline.  In 2002 it was running a digital signal of about 600 watts from a temporary site just off Azalea and Cottage Hill Road.  Later, the station ran about 120 kW from the digital switchover date to the spring of 2011, when it officially debuted a much higher power from the current transmitting site.  The station experienced an encoder failure early in September 2011, forcing the TBN multiplex off air.  The signal returned a few days later.  In 2014 the JCTV music videos channel was discontinued, and a Christian youth oriented network called JUCE took its place.  In 2015, Smile of a Child moved to the -.3 part time and this subchannel is now labeled "COMBO".  TBN Salsa launched on the -.5 subchannel in its place.

The station received a permit in July 2017 to relocate from RF channel 20 to 18 as part of the FCC repacking process.