|Lawrence, Massachusetts / Boston, Massachusetts|
(to change to Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Digital: 18 (UHF)|
(to share 10 (UHF) with WWDP)
Virtual: 62 (PSIP)
NRJ TV LLC|
(NRJ TV Boston License Co, LLC)
|First air date||October 16, 1987|
|Call letters' meaning||
|Former channel number(s)||
Shop at Home (1995-2007)
Gems TV (2007-2008)
Plum TV (2012-2013)
Cozi TV (2013-2016)
NBC (via WBTS-LD, 2017-2018)
|Transmitter power||1 megawatt|
|Height||289.2 m (949 ft)|
|Public license information:||
WMFP, virtual channel 62 (UHF digital channel 18), is a television station serving Boston, Massachusetts, United States that is licensed to Lawrence. The station is owned by NRJ TV, LLC. WMFP maintains studio facilities located on Lakeland Park Drive in Peabody, and its transmitter is located in Needham (at the "FM-128" site, shared with radio stations). The station is available on Metrocast channel 20, Comcast channel 20, Verizon FiOS channel 23, Charter Communications channel 25, and DirecTV and Dish Network channel 62.
The station first signed on the air on October 16, 1987. Initially, the station broadcast approximately eight hours per day of programming, operating its transmitter from a hill behind the Baldpate Hospital in Georgetown, Massachusetts.
In September 1992, a new broadcast antenna was mounted, via a Sikorsky sky-crane helicopter, on top of One Beacon Street in Boston. WMFP installed its new transmitter on an upper floor of the building, and started broadcasting from Boston in November 1992. The station's president at that time was Boston-area political commentator Avi Nelson. Bill Mockbee, well known in Boston radio and television broadcasting, was the general manager; composer/conductor/actor David Morrow was the operations manager; and Jim Capillo served as production manager, producing several local programs for the station. WMFP also expanded to a 24-hour schedule, with programming including syndicated talk shows, game shows, low budget movies, and drama shows. In early 1993, the station picked up several NBC programs that were not cleared by then-affiliate WBZ-TV (channel 4), including Another World and Leeza; NBC had previously cleared these programs on WHLL (channel 27, now WUNI). NBC programming disappeared from WMFP in 1995, after WBZ-TV swapped affiliations with WHDH-TV (channel 7) and joined CBS, as both stations cleared their new networks' full schedules. During the course of 1995, the station's schedule began to rely more on paid programming.
On May 16, 2006 Shop at Home's parent, the E. W. Scripps Company, announced that the network would suspend operations, effective June 22. However, Shop at Home temporarily ceased operations one day early than said target date on June 21, WMFP then switched to Jewelry Television (and, on June 23, to a mixture of both networks). On September 26, 2006, Scripps announced that it would sell its Shop at Home stations, including WMFP, to New York City-based Multicultural Television for $170 million. The sale of WMFP was finalized on April 24, 2007. Before the sale announcement, the station entered into discussions to affiliate with MyNetworkTV (a broadcast network created by News Corporation as a competitor to The CW, both of which launched in September 2006). MyNetworkTV instead chose to affiliate with WZMY-TV (channel 50, now WWJE-DT).
In May 2007, Multicultural took over WMFP, and switched the station to a mix of infomercials and home shopping network Gems TV; the Gems TV affiliation was dropped a year later. On May 12, 2009, it was announced that WMFP would affiliate with Retro Television Network (RTN). RTN programming was added to the station's second digital subchannel on May 20, though with its station identification showing the channel as 18.1. The next day, WMFP began showing RTN content on the main channel as well (RTN was subsequently rebranded as RTV).
After Multicultural ran into financial problems and defaulted on its loans, WMFP was placed into a trust; in 2011, the station, along with KCNS in San Francisco, was sold to NRJ TV (a company unrelated to European broadcaster NRJ Radio). The sale was consummated on May 13, 2011. NRJ TV affiliated the station with Me-TV on December 15, 2011, moving RTV to the second subchannel exclusively.
On October 1, 2012, WMFP switched its primary channel affiliation to lifestyle network Plum TV; WCVB-TV (channel 5) assumed the Me-TV affiliation for the Boston market on that date as part of a group affiliation deal with that station's owner Hearst Television. On or around May 13, 2013, WMFP became affiliated with Cozi TV on its main channel. In June 2013, the station briefly added a secondary feed of Cozi TV on digital subchannel 62.3 (which airs Cozi TV programming without the infomercial pre-emptions seen on digital channel 62.1, but presented in a horizontally compressed picture format).
By November 2014, WMFP's lineup placed Cozi TV on both 62.1 and 62.2 (with 62.2 airing Cozi TV without interruption), VIETV on 62.3, and MGM-owned The Works on 62.4. In January 2015 VIETV was dropped and The Works was moved to subchannel 62.3.
On June 1, 2016, 62.1 changed over to programming from the Sonlife Broadcasting Network, the religious network owned by television minister Jimmy Swaggart. On June 8, 2016, subchannel 62.2 (Cozi TV) was dropped when NBCUniversal, parent company of Cozi TV, moved its programming to a new third subchannel of Telemundo O&O WNEU (channel 60).
On December 12, 2016, NBC announced that an agreement with WMFP to temporarily lease one of their subchannels to provide a full-market signal for the low-power WBTS-LD (channel 8), which became Boston's new NBC station on January 1, 2017 under the branding of "NBC Boston". The subchannel uses WNEU's virtual channel 60, mapping to 60.5 in order to avert confusion with any of WMFP's subchannels and help over-the-air viewers determine if WNEU-DT2 or WMFP-DT5 provides a better signal source for their home. The WMFP-DT5 simulcast of "NBC Boston" is currently scaled to 720p (rather than being presented in its native 1080i) resolution, likely due to WMFP having both bandwidth limitations and its transmission facilities not being upgraded yet to allow a multiplexed signal with two HD subchannels.
WMFP sold its frequency rights as part of the Federal Communications Commission's 2017 spectrum auction for $93,647,708; in the auction, the station indicted that it would continue operations through a channel sharing agreement. In August 2017, WMFP entered into a channel sharing agreement with WWDP (channel 46); as WWDP's signal does not reach Lawrence, WMFP's city of license will change to Foxborough. NBC has since purchased WYCN-CD and entered into a channel-sharing agreement with the WGBH Educational Foundation to carry that signal over WGBX-TV to serve as the full market simulcast for WBTS-LD once WMFP moves to WWDP's channel space. The WMFP simulcast ended at exactly midnight on April 1, 2018. WMFP originally intended to commence channel sharing with WWDP on April 23, 2018; on April 3, the station requested special temporary authority to continue operating its existing transmitter through July 23, as one of the multichannel video programming distributors that carries WMFP does not receive an adequate signal from WWDP; the request was granted on April 6.
The station's digital channel was multiplexed. As of April 2018, the sub-channels are no longer broadcasting.
WMFP shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 62, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcasts on its pre-transition UHF channel 18. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 62, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.