UTICA — Northeast Gospel Broadcasting’s 88.1FM (WVVC/Dolgeville) has a new sister. Low-power digital TV station WVVC-LP just cleared the FCC’s hurdle for final approval to broadcast on channel 33, licensed to Utica. And before you ask… no, WVVC-LP doesn’t interfere with the long-running WFXV, which brands itself as “Fox 33.”
We’ll clear up the confusion first: when digital TV came along, many stations moved to new channel number assignments. But thanks to the fact that digital TVs can list “virtual” channel numbers, many broadcasters were able to keep branding themselves with the same old numbers (and logos) that they used as analog stations. This allows WFXV to retain its public identity as “Fox 33,” even though it moved to channel 27 when it started broadcasting in digital. (If you want more-details, the “Virtual Channel” article on Wikipedia provides a good explanation without going too crazy with technical jargon.)
Now onto the news about WVVC-LD. In its Daily Digest on Thursday, the FCC announced it has granted the station a “License to Cover,” which is the final step of the licensing process for a new station. Although WVVC-LD is broadcasting on channel 33, viewers will find it on their sets by tuning in “virtual” channel 40. WVVC-LD is authorized to broadcast with an ERP of 15,000 watts from a tower located on Frankfort Hill, southeast of the City of Utica.