WMTV logo.svg

WBUW The CW logo.PNG

  • NBC15
  • Madison CW (DT2)
  • NBC15 Weather Station (DT6)[1]
First air date
July 8, 1953 (69 years ago) (1953-07-08)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 33 (UHF, 1953–1961)
  • 15 (UHF, 1961–2009)
  • Both secondary:
  • DuMont (1953–1955)
  • ABC (1953–1956)
  • DT2:
    AccuWeather (2007–2013)
  • WeatherNation TV (2014−2016)
  • DT4:
  • WeatherNation TV (2016−2021; now on DT6)
Call sign meaning
"Watch Madison Television"
(not related to Paramount Global–owned Music Television)
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID6870
ERP155 kW
HAAT414.8 m (1,361 ft)
Transmitter coordinates43°3′3″N 89°29′13″W / 43.05083°N 89.48694°W / 43.05083; -89.48694
Public license information

WMTV (channel 15) is a television station in Madison, Wisconsin, United States, affiliated with NBC and The CW. The station is owned by Gray Television, and maintains studios and transmitter facilities on Forward Drive on Madison's southwest side.


Studios of WMTV, circa June 2021
Studios of WMTV, circa June 2021

WMTV signed on the air on July 8, 1953, on channel 33 and was an affiliate of NBC, ABC and DuMont. However, it has always been a primary NBC affiliate. In 1956, WKOW-TV, which had the CBS affiliation, picked up the ABC affiliation from WMTV after losing CBS to then-new VHF station WISC-TV, thus resulting in WMTV becoming solely affiliated with NBC.

In 1961, WMTV switched channels from 33 to 15, where it remained until analog broadcasting ceased just before midnight on February 17, 2009. The station's over-the-air broadcasts are now on digital channel 19, though it is found through PSIP on virtual channel 15.

The station's channel 19 signal is also used by Chicago's WGN-TV and WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan, causing interference between it and those two stations in the easternmost and southern portions of their coverage area, mainly in Walworth County, which is just outside the Madison market (though WXMI's signal is limited by the Kettle Moraine range west of Jefferson County).[2]

On October 16, 2010, WMTV became the second commercial TV station in Madison to produce all of its newscasts in high definition, the first being WISC-TV. On October 18, 2010, the station also began airing its flagship syndicated programs Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in HD.

WMTV's studios have been located on Forward Drive on Madison's southwest side since the station launched in 1953. The station's original studios were utilized until a new facility at the same address opened in late October 2016, eight months after ground was broken (the old studios were demolished for parking).[3][4][5]


The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect Short name Programming[1]
15.1 1080i 16:9 WMTVNBC Main WMTV programming / NBC
15.2 720p WMTV-CW WMTV-DT2 / The CW
15.3 480i ANT-TV Antenna TV
15.4 MeTV MeTV
15.5 STARTTV Start TV
15.6 WMTV-WX WeatherNation TV

WMTV-DT2 carried local weather mixed with The Local AccuWeather Channel on its second subchannel from the subchannel's 2007 launch until January 1, 2014, when it became affiliated with WeatherNation TV.[6] WMTV .3 launched on April 1, 2013, carrying Antenna TV.[7]

On September 12, 2016, WMTV added The CW to its second subchannel, the result of an affiliation deal between Gray Television and The CW that renewed CW affiliations throughout the Gray chain and added the network to WMTV and three other stations.[8] WeatherNation TV would relocate to new subchannel 15.4 on September 12, 2016, the same day The CW was added to subchannel 15.2.[9] WMTV replaced WBUW as Madison's CW affiliate at the time of that station's affiliation expiry.

In summer 2021, WMTV's subchannel suite expanded to six streams with the June addition of StartTV to 15.5 and, on August 2, relocation of WeatherNation TV to 15.6. The latter move made way for the addition of MeTV on 15.4 (WMTV inherited MeTV's affiliation from WKOW).[10]


  1. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WMTV". RabbitEars. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  2. ^ Weeden, Tom (August 5, 2013). "Digital TV Reception Difficulties". WMTV. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "NBC15 breaks ground for new building," from NBC15.com, February 10, 2016
  4. ^ "Channel 15 stands to nearly double its square footage in new building", The Capital Times, November 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Workflow Efficiency Key At Gray's New WMTV," from TVNewsCheck, August 3, 2017
  6. ^ "WMTV, WeatherNation announce partnership". NBC15.com. Gray Digital Media. December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Source: NBC15 on Facebook, posted March 29, 2013
  8. ^ "Gray Expands Its Partnership with The CW Network," from PRNewswire, December 15, 2016
  9. ^ Source: WMTV Engineering on Twitter (posted September 9, 2016)
  10. ^ "MeTV, StartTV coming to WMTV on Monday; but rescans are required," from WMTV/NBC15.com, 7/30/2021