WBMA-LD

ABC television affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, United States
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inception
1996
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Wikipedia creation date
11/14/2004
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Wikipedia opening text
WBMA-LD, virtual channel 58 (UHF digital channel 40), is a low-powered ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Birmingham, Alabama, United States. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it is a sister station to MyNetworkTV affiliate WABM (channel 68, also licensed to Birmingham) and Homewood-licensed CW affiliate WTTO (channel 21); Sinclair also operates Bessemer-licensed WDBB (channel 17), which serves as a full satellite station of WTTO, under a time brokerage agreement (TBA) with Sinclair partner company Cunningham Broadcasting. However, Sinclair effectively owns WDBB as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. WBMA-LD, WABM and WTTO share studios at the Riverchase office park on Concourse Parkway in Hoover (with a Birmingham mailing address); WBMA-LD's transmitter is located atop Red Mountain (near the Tarpley City neighborhood) in southwestern Birmingham. On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 12, Comcast Xfinity channel 5, and AT&T U-verse channel 33. WBMA transmits a low-power signal, which even in digital effectively limits its over-the-air radius to Birmingham proper and nearby areas in Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Bibb and Shelby counties. Because of this, the station's programming is simulcast on the digital subchannels of three other Central Alabama stations that act as full-power relays—including those of WABM and WDBB—in order to reach the entire Birmingham–Tuscaloosa–Anniston market. The station's brand name, ABC 33/40, is derived from the two stations that operated as full-power satellites of WBMA to distribute its programming to southwestern and northeastern areas of central Alabama from the station's acquisition of the ABC affiliation in September 1996 until October 2014, WCFT-TV (channel 33) in Tuscaloosa and WJSU-TV (channel 40) in Anniston, which now respectively operate as Heroes & Icons affiliates WSES and WGWW (the latter of which simulcasts WBMA-LD on its second subchannel through a time brokerage agreement with Sinclair partner company and current owner of the two stations, Howard Stirk Holdings). The moniker remains in use largely due to its continued carriage over channel assignments originally given to its ex-satellites—and now assigned to its subchannel relays—on multichannel television providers throughout Central Alabama outside of Greater Birmingham (primarily non-cable-based services like the IPTV-based U-verse, and satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network).
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WBMA
ABC 33/40
WBMA-LP
ABC Birmingham
ABC Tuscaloosa
ABC Anniston
ABC Gadsden
WBMA-TV
W58CK
WHMA-TV
WBMA+
Abc 3340
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