WPCH-TV

WTBSWTCGPeachtree TVWTCG-TVWTBS-TVTBSWPCHtelevision stationan independent stationAtlanta
WPCH-TV, virtual channel 17 (UHF digital channel 31), is an independent television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States.wikipedia
517 Related Articles

Independent station (North America)

independent stationIndependentindependent stations
WPCH-TV, virtual channel 17 (UHF digital channel 31), is an independent television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States. WJRJ-TV was the first commercial television station to sign on in the Atlanta market since the short-lived WQXI-TV (channel 36, allocation now occupied by MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL) signed on 13 years earlier on December 18, 1954; it was also the second independent station to begin operation in the market – the first since WQXI-TV ceased operations on May 31, 1955 – even though, on paper, had a large enough population to provide suitable viewership for an independent station since the mid-1960s, as well as one of the first independents to sign on in the Southeastern United States.
In December 1976, Ted Turner decided to uplink his struggling Atlanta, Georgia station WTCG to satellite for national distribution.

WGCL-TV

WGCLWGNXAtlanta
The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WGCL-TV (channel 46).
The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with independent station WPCH-TV (channel 17).

TBS (American TV channel)

TBSWTBSTBS Superstation
The former superstation feed – which eventually became known as simply TBS, and had maintained a nearly identical program schedule as the local Atlanta feed – was converted by Turner into a conventional basic cable network on October 1, 2007, at which time it was concurrently added to cable providers within the Atlanta market (including Comcast and Charter) alongside its existing local carriage on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network.
TBS was originally established on December 17, 1976 as the national feed of Turner's Atlanta, Georgia, independent television station, WTCG.

Turner Broadcasting System

Turner BroadcastingTBSTurner
During its ownership under the Turner Broadcasting System (which owned the station from April 1970 until February 2017), WPCH-TV—then using the WTCG call letters—pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations retransmitted by communications satellite to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States, expanding the small independent station into the first national "superstation" on December 17, 1976.
The company was known for several pioneering innovations in U.S. multichannel television, including its satellite uplink of local Atlanta independent station WTCG channel 17 as one of the first national "superstations", and its establishment of CNN—the first 24-hour news channel.

Ted Turner

Turner FoundationRobert E. "Ted" Turner IIIR.E. "Ted" Turner
In July 1969, Rice Broadcasting announced an agreement to merge with the Turner Communications Corporation – an Atlanta-based group owned by entrepreneur Robert E. "Ted" Turner III, who ran the billboard advertising business founded by his deceased father and had also owned radio stations in Chattanooga, Tennessee (WGOW); Charleston, South Carolina (WTMA-AM-FM, the FM station is now WSSX-FM); and Jacksonville, Florida (WMBR, now WBOB) – in an all-stock transaction.
In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television, which later became TBS.

Superstation

superstationscable superstationsvia satellite
During its ownership under the Turner Broadcasting System (which owned the station from April 1970 until February 2017), WPCH-TV—then using the WTCG call letters—pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations retransmitted by communications satellite to cable and satellite subscribers throughout the United States, expanding the small independent station into the first national "superstation" on December 17, 1976.
By way of the microwave connections, Robert E. "Ted" Turner began allowing the signal of Atlanta, Georgia independent station WTCG (channel 17, later renamed WTBS and now WPCH-TV) – which he purchased from station founder and fellow Atlanta-based entrepreneur Jack Rice Jr. in December 1969 in a $3-million all-stock transaction – to be distributed into other parts of the Southeastern United States (including Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina).

Owned-and-operated station

owned-and-operatedO&Oowned and operated
The station's original studio and transmitter facility was located at 1018 West Peachtree Street Northwest, which had formerly served as the studios of then-CBS affiliate WAGA-TV (channel 5, now a Fox owned-and-operated station).
The standard definition of an O&O again does not apply to The CW (in this case, CBS Corporation owns some of the core CW outlets, while Time Warner does not own a CW station or any station beyond one), but the CBS-owned stations that carry the network may be referred to as "CW O&Os".

WAGA-TV

WAGAAtlantaWAGA 5
The station's original studio and transmitter facility was located at 1018 West Peachtree Street Northwest, which had formerly served as the studios of then-CBS affiliate WAGA-TV (channel 5, now a Fox owned-and-operated station).
This building would later become home to pioneering superstation and leading Atlanta independent station WTBS (channel 17, now WPCH-TV).

WATL

WATL-TVWATL 36Atlanta
WJRJ-TV was the first commercial television station to sign on in the Atlanta market since the short-lived WQXI-TV (channel 36, allocation now occupied by MyNetworkTV affiliate WATL) signed on 13 years earlier on December 18, 1954; it was also the second independent station to begin operation in the market – the first since WQXI-TV ceased operations on May 31, 1955 – even though, on paper, had a large enough population to provide suitable viewership for an independent station since the mid-1960s, as well as one of the first independents to sign on in the Southeastern United States.
Ted Turner's WTCG, (channel 17, later WTBS and now WPCH-TV) which had been operating two years longer, spent far less on programming and survived.

WGN-TV

WGNWGN 9K32MF-D
The station, and Turner's innovation, pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations via satellite transmission to pay television subscribers nationwide, leading United Video Inc. and Eastern Microwave Inc., respectively, to uplink fellow independent stations WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV in New York City (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV in Secaucus, New Jersey) to satellite for distribution as national superstations by the spring of 1979.
Like concept progenitor WTBS in Atlanta, WGN-TV—which, alongside WGN radio and CLTV, was among the flagship broadcasting properties of Tribune Media (formerly known as the Tribune Company until August 2014) until the company's purchase by Nexstar was completed in September 2019—was a pioneering superstation; on November 8, 1978, it became the second U.S. television station to be made available via satellite transmission to cable and direct-broadcast satellite subscribers nationwide.

Meredith Corporation

MeredithSuccessful FarmingMeredith Books
The station is owned by the Meredith Corporation, as part of a duopoly with CBS affiliate WGCL-TV (channel 46).

HBO

Home Box OfficeHBO.comHBO Family
With this move, WTCG would become one of the first television stations, and only the second U.S. broadcaster – following premium cable network Home Box Office (HBO) (an eventual sister property to channel 17 as a result of Time Warner's 1996 acquisition of the Turner Broadcasting System), which began to transmit its signal nationally via satellite on September 30, 1975 – to be transmitted via satellite, instead of the then-standard method of using microwave relay to distribute a programming feed.
By 1977, Ted Turner's Atlanta superstation WTCG-TV (soon to become WTBS) and Pat Robertson's CBN Satellite Service (later to become the present-day Freeform) had joined it, pioneering satellite delivery for the cable television industry.

Freeform (TV channel)

ABC FamilyFreeformFox Family
Turner's move to uplink WTCG to satellite also signaled the start of the basic cable revolution, inspiring the concept of cable-originated channels that were available to subscribers without an additional fee including, among others in the early days of basic cable, the CBN Satellite Network (now Freeform), the "original" Madison Square Garden Network (now USA Network), the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS; now A&E), Nickelodeon and ESPN as well as Turner's later cable programming ventures, including Cable News Network (CNN), CNN2 (later Headline News and now HLN), Turner Network Television (TNT), Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Focusing mainly on religious programming, the channel was notable for being one of the first cable channels to distribute its signal nationally through satellite transmission (the third overall, as the method had been first pioneered by HBO in September 1975) as well as the first national basic cable-originated network (TBS – which became the second cable channel in the U.S. to begin transmitting via satellite in December 1976 – originated as a feed of broadcast television station WTCG (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, Georgia).

TNT (American TV network)

TNTTurner Network TelevisionTNT Network
Turner's move to uplink WTCG to satellite also signaled the start of the basic cable revolution, inspiring the concept of cable-originated channels that were available to subscribers without an additional fee including, among others in the early days of basic cable, the CBN Satellite Network (now Freeform), the "original" Madison Square Garden Network (now USA Network), the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS; now A&E), Nickelodeon and ESPN as well as Turner's later cable programming ventures, including Cable News Network (CNN), CNN2 (later Headline News and now HLN), Turner Network Television (TNT), Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Prior to the launch of the channel in 1988, the Turner Network Television name had been utilized by the Turner Broadcasting System for an ad-hoc syndication service which produced and distributed various sporting events for carriage on Turner's Atlanta, Georgia superstation WTBS (channel 17, now WPCH-TV, which was separated from its national cable feed, TBS, in October 2007) as well as broadcast television stations throughout the United States.

WGN America

Superstation WGNWGNsuperstation feed
In 1981, Turner decided to have all of the shows carried by WTBS continue to air both locally and nationally, but separated the feeds (in a move that preceded United Video implementing this practice for the national version of WGN-TV after the FCC reinstituted the syndication exclusivity rights rule in January 1990).
This expanded the prominent independent station into America's second satellite-distributed national "superstation," after the concept's progenitor, Atlanta, Georgia-based WTBS (now separately operating as WPCH-TV in the Atlanta market and as conventional subscription channel TBS nationwide).

KTVT

KTVT-TVKTVT 11KTVT Tower
Eventually, other independent stations such as KTVU (now a Fox owned-and-operated station) in San Francisco, KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas–Fort Worth, WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City and KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles were uplinked to satellite as well, with their distribution either being purposefully limited to a regional basis or intended for national distribution only to have its reach concentrated primarily within their home regions.
This attained it a new status as a superstation along the lines of WTBS (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV in New York City (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV and licensed to Secaucus, New Jersey); its signal was transmitted to about 400 cable systems and to C-band satellite subscribers across the country, mainly in the Southwestern U.S. At its height, the station was available on nearly every cable provider in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as large swaths of Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico.

KTVU

KTVU 2KTVU-TVKTVU Channel 2
Eventually, other independent stations such as KTVU (now a Fox owned-and-operated station) in San Francisco, KTVT (now a CBS owned-and-operated station) in Dallas–Fort Worth, WPIX (now a CW affiliate) in New York City and KTLA (now a CW affiliate) in Los Angeles were uplinked to satellite as well, with their distribution either being purposefully limited to a regional basis or intended for national distribution only to have its reach concentrated primarily within their home regions.
However, the station was unable to compete with WTBS (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, and two other independent stations that were uplinked to satellite as superstations in the two years after KTVU gained national distribution, WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV (now co-owned MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV) in New York City, and began to scale down its national coverage via cable in 1982.

Future Shock (TV series)

Future ShockFuture Shock'' (TV series)
Another show on WTCG's lineup was Future Shock, a music program hosted by R&B singer James Brown.
Shot in Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia and broadcast late on Friday nights on the Ted Turner-owned UHF station WTCG, it featured local amateurs performing a variety of popular and emerging dance styles, including disco, locking and popping, and early breakdancing, to prerecorded music.

WWOR-TV

WOR-TVWWORWOR
The station, and Turner's innovation, pioneered the distribution of broadcast television stations via satellite transmission to pay television subscribers nationwide, leading United Video Inc. and Eastern Microwave Inc., respectively, to uplink fellow independent stations WGN-TV in Chicago and WOR-TV in New York City (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV in Secaucus, New Jersey) to satellite for distribution as national superstations by the spring of 1979.
In April 1979, Syracuse, New York-based Eastern Microwave, Inc. began distributing WOR-TV to cable and C-band satellite subscribers across the United States, joining WTBS (now WPCH-TV) in Atlanta and WGN-TV in Chicago as national superstations.

Atlanta

Atlanta, GeorgiaAtlanta, GAAtlanta, United States
WPCH-TV, virtual channel 17 (UHF digital channel 31), is an independent television station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Other major commercial stations include WPXA-TV 14 (Ion), WPCH-TV 17 (Ind.), WUVG-TV 34 (Univision), WUPA 69 (CW), and WATL 36 (MyNetworkTV).

Cable television in the United States

basic cablecable televisioncable
Turner's move to uplink WTCG to satellite also signaled the start of the basic cable revolution, inspiring the concept of cable-originated channels that were available to subscribers without an additional fee including, among others in the early days of basic cable, the CBN Satellite Network (now Freeform), the "original" Madison Square Garden Network (now USA Network), the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS; now A&E), Nickelodeon and ESPN as well as Turner's later cable programming ventures, including Cable News Network (CNN), CNN2 (later Headline News and now HLN), Turner Network Television (TNT), Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
One of the first "basic cable" networks was TBS—which was initially established as a satellite uplink of an independent television station in Atlanta, Georgia.

WSB-TV

WSBAtlantaWSB 2
Turner had a low budget in terms of programming purchases, and would bid very low on new shows offered in syndication; network-affiliated stations WAGA-TV, WSB-TV (channel 2) and WXIA-TV (channel 11) would get the best product.
The station was the original local television broadcaster of the relocated Atlanta Braves baseball team, carrying the games from 1966 to 1972, until the Braves telecasts moved to WTCG (now WPCH-TV) in 1973.

Georgia Championship Wrestling

Mid-South SportsGCWChampionship Wrestling from Georgia
Channel 17's sports programming grew to include game telecasts from the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Flames, as well as Georgia Championship Wrestling, one of the roots of the later World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
Georgia Championship Wrestling was a professional wrestling promotion whose self-titled TV program aired in the 1970s and 1980s on Atlanta, U.S., superstation WTBS.

Turner Sports

TNTTurnerTNT Sports
Channel 17 also continued to carry Atlanta Braves baseball games until 2012, when all Braves games became cable-exclusive within the market via regional sports networks Fox Sports South and SportSouth (now Fox Sports Southeast), following a two-year arrangement with Fox Sports South in which it assumed production responsibilities for the station's 45 annual Atlanta Braves broadcasts from Turner Sports.
Turner also owned WPCH-TV, the former WTBS, which was the longtime home of Atlanta Braves Baseball.

Bill Tush

The Bill Tush Show.
Other original programs shown on WTBS during the 1980s included Tush (a late night sketch comedy and variety series hosted and developed by comedian Bill Tush that ran from 1980 to 1982), Starcade (an arcade-themed game show that ran from 1982 to 1983, with a further run through Turner Program Services in syndication until 1984), The Catlins (a Dynasty-style prime time soap opera which ran from 1983 to 1985), and The New Leave It To Beaver (a continuation of the Leave it to Beaver revival series originally aired on The Disney Channel as Still the Beaver that ran on WTBS from 1986 to 1989).
His radio career landed him in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1974, where he would eventually join Ted Turner at his then-local television station, WTCG, channel 17.