Two Outlets Dabble in Digital


Two Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va., stations are aggressively pursuing content for its digital-broadcast channels.

CBS affiliate WDBJ currently broadcasts three digital multicast channels: a high-definition channel, a general-entertainment outlet and a weather service. The local WB affiliate, WBVR, airs on one of Fox affiliate WFXR's digital channels. A second channel offers high-def.

In contrast, most stations nationwide currently offer only an HD simulcast of their analog signal.

“It is incumbent on broadcasters to build an audience for digital TV,” says WDBJ President Bob Lee.

He determined that viewers wanted more weather, sports and family-friendly fare. So on the general-entertainment channel, the station offers Baltimore Orioles and minor-league baseball games, as well as classic series like The Andy Griffith Show. WDBJ also buys HD programming, such as Star Trek reruns and available Star Wars films.

Elsewhere in the market, so far, WSLS and WSET each offer a digital channel in high-def.