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The meaning of «wfff-tv»

WFFF-TV, virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 16), is a Fox affiliated television station licensed to Burlington, Vermont, United States, serving Northern Vermont's Champlain Valley and Upstate New York's North Country, including Plattsburgh. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also operates ABC affiliate WVNY (channel 22, also licensed to Burlington) under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with owner Mission Broadcasting. The two stations share studios on Mountain View Drive in Colchester, Vermont; WFFF-TV's transmitter is located on Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield.

Like other network stations serving Burlington and Plattsburgh, WFFF-TV has a large audience in Southern Quebec, Canada. This includes Montreal, a city 10 times more populous than the station's entire U.S. viewing area. Most Vidéotron systems in Southern Quebec carry WFFF-TV as their Fox affiliate.

WFFF-TV signed on August 31, 1997.[1] Prior to the station's launch, the Champlain Valley was the last top-100 television market without a primary Fox affiliate;[2] CBS affiliate WCAX-TV aired Fox Sports and Fox Kids programming, while the network's full schedule was available on cable systems in most of Vermont via Foxnet; the extreme southern portion of the Champlain Valley (corresponding to the Glens Falls metropolitan area) was well served by Albany Fox affiliate WXXA-TV, which was not receivable at all in northern New York or southern Quebec.[3] Cable systems in northeastern New York had imported network flagship WNYW from New York City, while Canadian cable systems carried WUTV from Buffalo or WUHF from Rochester.[4] Between 1995 and 2001, Fox programming was available over-the-air in northern New Hampshire via WMUR-LP, a repeater of ABC affiliate WMUR-TV. WFFF-TV was originally owned by Champlain Valley Telecasting, but was operated by Heritage Media, owner of NBC affiliate WPTZ, through an LMA.[3]

WFFF-TV originally planned to broadcast its analog channel 44 signal from Mount Mansfield; however, while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a construction permit, the station was unable to secure approval from the Mount Mansfield Collocation Association. As a result, after three years of attempts, it was forced to transmit from WPTZ's tower on Terry Mountain in Peru, New York under special temporary authority, resulting in less over-the-air coverage of the eastern portion of the market than anticipated.[5] WFFF-TV, along with the other Burlington–Plattsburgh stations, were able to sign their digital signals on the air from Mount Mansfield in 2006,[6] but its analog signal remained on Terry Mountain until 2009.

Shortly before WFFF-TV began broadcasting, Heritage Media announced the sale of its broadcasting properties, including WPTZ and the LMA with WFFF-TV, to Sinclair Broadcast Group;[4] soon after taking over in early 1998, Sinclair sold WPTZ and the WFFF-TV LMA to Sunrise Television. Sunrise promptly swapped WPTZ to Hearst-Argyle Television, but transferred WFFF-TV's non-license assets to Smith Broadcasting (which, like Sunrise, was controlled by Robert Smith);[7] soon afterward, the station began to operate independently of WPTZ. Smith bought WFFF-TV outright a year later.[8]

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