is a television
station in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania DMA
. The station, owned by Sonshine Family Television Corporation, broadcasts programming as a FamilyNet
affiliate, Worship Network
programming, special interest programs that are produced in-house, and paid religious infomercials
. WBPH-TV is also an affiliate of the Lafayette College
WBPH-TV's transmitter is located on South Mountain in Allentown, Pennsylvania (specifically Salisbury Township in Lehigh County). The station is licensed to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but maintains offices and studio facilities in Allentown.
WBPH-TV signed on December 27, 1990. The station was an outgrowth of Christian programming Pat Huber
had begun on a local cable public access channel. In 1985, Huber formed the Sonshine Family Television Corporation and applied for a television broadcast license.
Since its inception, two of WBPH's in-house programs have been "60 Live" and "Bethlehem Glory," both hosted by station owner Pat Huber.
WBPH is also an affiliate of the Lafayette Sports Network. Broadcasts are produced by RCN channel 4 and include all of Lafayette College's football games (including early rounds of the playoffs) and all home men's and women's basketball games. Very few away basketball games are televised, one exceptions are games at Princeton by the men.
Through the course of its existence, the station has also produced shows in conjunction with area radio stations and churches. One program that had short lived popularity among area church youth was "Live from Studio 60." Produced along with Word FM
, "Live from Studio 60" showcased local Christian bands performing to a live audience at the WBPH-TV studio in Allentown. The program reached its peak in 2000 when it played host to Christian band The Waiting
in conjunction with the Fallout concert, a large Christian music festival held annually in the Lehigh Valley
as a promotional event for See You at the Pole
. The end of the program was brought on by the need to put efforts into the building of their 3 Megawatt transmit facility to reach beyond the Lehigh Valley into Philadelphia.
WBPH-TV identifies itself with its correct city of license, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
. However, in an attempt to rebut challengers of the station's must carry status throughout the Philadelphia DMA, the station featured a bug typically seen at the top right of the screen which read "WBPH Philadelphia." One such challenger, cable magnate Comcast
, filed a petition in 2003 with the Federal Communications Commission
to modify WBPH-TV's market as they did not meet any interests of the southern half of the DMA. The FCC denied the petition, and WBPH-TV remained on cable in places such as Mercer County, New Jersey
Presently, WBPH-TV is seen on cable systems in most of the Philadelphia DMA. Exceptions are a majority of Chester County, most of southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The majority of areas in which WBPH-TV is carried are those within reach of the station's over-the-air broadcast signal.
Currently, WBPH-TV is not available on any satellite television service. The station is in the process of being added to the DirecTV
In 2002, WBPH applied to have their digital channel assignment reallocated from channel 59 to channel 9. The reason for this was that both their analog and digital channels were out-of-core and would be taken out of television service in the future. With the FCC's approval of this application, WBPH became the first station in the Lehigh Valley
to broadcast on a VHF