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WUVG-DT
Univision logo.png
Atlanta metro area
City of license Athens, Georgia
Branding Univision 34
Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)
Subchannels 34.1 - Univision (1080i)
34.2 - TeleFutura (4801)
Translators WUVG-DT 17 Athens
Owner Univision Communications
(Univision Atlanta, LLC)
First air date April 18, 1987
Call letters’ meaning UniVision Georgia
Former callsigns WNGM-TV (1987-1999)
WHOT-TV (1999-2001)
WUVG (2001-2003)
WUVG-TV (2004-2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
34 (UHF, 1987-2009)
Former affiliations independent (1987-1993)
HSN (1993-1999)
independent (1999-2002)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW
Height 310.3 m
Facility ID 48813
Transmitter Coordinates 33°48′26.3″N 84°20′21.5″W / 33.807306°N 84.339306°W / 33.807306; -84.339306

WUVG-DT is the Univision owned and operated TV station in the greater Atlanta area, on DTV channel 48. WUVG-DT offers a Spanish-language programming format featuring TV news, talk shows, dramas, movies and other first-rate Spanish programming. Its city of license is Athens, Georgia.

History

The station went on air on April 18, 1987 as WNGM-TV with the call sign standing for North Georgia Mountains. Initially the station ran a general entertainment format with cartoons, classic and recent sitcoms, country music blocks of programming, old movies and syndicated first-run shows.

The station's transmitter was located 60 miles (nearly 100 km) away from Atlanta, reaching Athens with a grade A signal while sending a very weak signal into eastern metro Atlanta. As a result, many syndicators sold the rights for shows that were already on the Atlanta stations to WNGM. The station provided an alternative to viewers in areas which had moderate VHF reception and poor UHF reception from Atlanta. However, the station floundered in the ratings. By late 1988, the station was running a blend of infomercials, low-rated syndicated shows and movies, and shop-at-home programming.

In 1989, after the Home Shopping Network failed to buy WVEU (now WUPA TV 69), it arranged for Whitehead Media to buy WNGM. The station started to air HSN's programming 24 hours a day.

In 1993, it moved its transmitter closer to Atlanta, covering the city with a grade A signal strength. This was the same radio tower as WFOX FM 97.1 and WYAY FM 106.7. Channel 34 was actually planned for this tower went it went up in 1984.

In 1996, it switched to an all music videos format as an affiliate of The Box.

WHOT-TV "Hotlanta 34" Logo

The station was bought by USA Broadcasting (which was under the same ownership as HSN, under Barry Diller) in 1997. It became WHOT-TV in October 1999 (for Hotlanta, one of the city's nicknames) and added syndicated cartoons, off-network sitcoms, dramas, old movies and syndicated talk/reality shows to its lineup, along with Fox Kids which it picked up from WATL TV 36. (The successor to Fox Kids, 4Kids TV, did not air at all in the Atlanta area from the time WHOT/WUVG became a Univision station until that block went off the air in December 2008. Today, Fox offers a replacement infomercial block, Weekend Marketplace, which currently airs on WATL.) The station didn't receive spectacular ratings, but was still performing decently.

In 2000, WHOT obtained the rights to the Atlanta Hawks basketball games.

USA then planned to sell its stations to ABC-Disney, but Univision outbid its competition in a close race. In markets which already had Univision affiliates, the newly acquired stations became affiliates of TeleFutura, a new network started by Univision. However, WHOT was Univision's only station in Atlanta (which had a relatively low, but growing, Spanish-speaking population). As such, the station changed its call sign to WUVG (for Univision Georgia) in November 2001 and became Atlanta's Univision affiliate on January 14, 2002.

Digital television

Despite still being licensed to serve Athens, Georgia, the station's digital TV transmitter and antenna are located very near the city of Atlanta, which has become a common occurrence for digital stations licensed to a community outside of the core metropolitan area of the main city within the media market. The exact location is in North Druid Hills, along with several other stations.

The station's over-the-air digital channel is multiplexed. WUVG-DT transmits digitally on physical channel 48 from Atlanta, and since early December 2009 on channel 17 (vacated by analog WPCH-TV) in Athens. This is somewhat ironic, since the main signal is required to reach the city of license, while showing the need for a translator there proves that it does not. Both stations have the same broadcast callsign and the following channels, and receivers that can tune both stations will see duplicates.

Channel Name Format Programming
34.1 WUVG-DT 1080i WUVG main programming / Univision network
34.2 WUVG-DT 480i TeleFutura network

The station airs TeleFutura on their digital subchannel 34.2, which is a rarity as Univision prefers their two networks to operate on two different channels rather than in multiplexed form. However, this is a legacy of analog TV, the major disadvantage of sharing now being that 34.2 does not have the right to must-carry since the FCC failed to implement it for digital TV stations, even for cable TV systems that drop almost all analog channels to supposedly make more room for digital as Comcast has done locally.

It also means that only one of the two channels can be in full 1080i60 HDTV, currently leaving the other in 480i60 SDTV since both networks went HD in December 2009 (this station being one of the first four markets in the country be converted by the company). The station could, however, downsample them both slightly and transmit in 720p30 (possibly 720p24 for the movies on TeleFutura) without excessive video data compression, if it chose to do so.

External links

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