ABC 33/40 is the callsign for a cluster of ABC stations in the Birmingham, Alabama market. 33 is for WCFT/digital channel 33 (virtual 33) in Tuscaloosa, and 40 is for WJSU/digital channel 9 (virtual 40) in Anniston. They both serve as reception satellites for WBMA/digital channel 40 (virtual 58), a low-power station in Birmingham. All three have subcarriers carrying local weather radar (9.2, 33.2 and 40.2), and The Nashville Network (9.3, 33.3, 40.3). WBMA's analog signal remains on as it is a low-power station and not obligated to shut off its analog.
Prior to 1996, WCFT signed on in 1965 as an independent and ran NBC shows bumped by Birmingham NBC affiliate WAPI/channel 13 (now WVTM). At that time, Tuscaloosa was a separate market (rank #170) from Birmingham. They switched to CBS in 1970. WJSU started in 1969 as a CBS affiliate (call WHMA) for eastern Alabama and carried NBC shows on secondary affiliation for a year. Anniston was ranked #192 as a TV market then.
In 1995, the Fox network was wrapping up its henhouse raid of VHF TV stations started in 1994. The network bought then-ABC affiliate WBRC, but the station's contract with ABC didn't expire until September of 1996. Allbritton Communications bought W58CK, a low-powered Birmingham station and beamed it as the new ABC outlet. For the station to reach western and eastern parts of north Alabama, an agreement was reached to make WCFT and WJSU satellites of W58CK, which had its call later changed to WBMA. It had first broadcast on digital channel 11 but was moved to digital 40 to prevent interference from PBS outlet WBIQ (channel 10). The Tuscaloosa and Anniston markets were absorbed into the Birmingham market, allowing the Nielsen rating service a wider area to survey.
|33.1||33.1||WCFT-DT||Main WCFT (ABC)|
|33.3||33.3||WCFT-DT3||The Nashville Network|
|40.1||9.1||WJSU-DT||Main WJSU (ABC)|
|40.3||9.3||WJSU-DT3||The Nashville Network|
|58.1||40.1||WBMA-LD||Main WBMA (ABC)|
|58.3||40.3||WBMA-LD3||The Nashville Network|
Current Prime-Time Schedule
|Monday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||The Bachelor||Castle||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Tuesday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||The Goldbergs||Trophy Wife||Killer Women||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Wednesday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||The Middle||Suburgatory||Modern Family||Super Fun Night||Nashville||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Thursday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||The Taste||Shark Tank (repeats)||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Friday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||Last Man Standing||The Neighbors||Shark Tank||20/20||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Saturday||ABC 33/40 6 PM News||Wheel Of Fortune||Movie||20/20 (repeats)||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|
|Sunday||America's Funniest Home Videos||The Bachelor||Revenge||Betrayal||ABC 33/40 10 PM News|