WFTV Eyewitness News 9 Live Stream is a local news channel broadcasting from Orlando Florida. The channel began broadcasting in 1958. The station is owned by the Cox Media Group division of Cox Enterprises.
WFTV, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 35), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Orlando, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Atlanta-based Cox Media Group, as part of a duopoly with independent station WRDQ (channel 27). The two stations share studios on East South Street (SR 15) in downtown Orlando; WFTV’s transmitter is located between Bithlo and Christmas.
The station’s signal is relayed through a UHF digital translator on channel 19 in Deltona (transmitting from WNUE-FM’s tower). On cable, WFTV is available on channel 7 on Charter Spectrum, channel 10 on Comcast Xfinity, and channel 9 on CenturyLink Prism and in outlying areas. WFTV is also carried on cable providers in Polk and Citrus counties, which are part of the Tampa Bay market, although non-local programming is subject to blackout due to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s network non-duplication and syndication exclusivity rules.
The station first signed on the air on February 1, 1958 under the callsign WLOF-TV (standing for “We Love Orlando, Florida”). It has been an ABC affiliate since the station’s inception. For years, the station was owned by the Mid-Florida Television Corporation, which was a consortium of local investors. Channel 9 changed its callsign to the current WFTV in 1963. In 1984, the station was purchased by the SFN Companies. SFN in turn sold the station to Cox Broadcasting (now Cox Media Group) in 1985. In 1987, WFTV announced that they would move from their original location on West Central Boulevard, to a new studio located at their present-day location.
Since July 2006, WFTV is seen on the co-owned Cox cable system in Ocala (standard definition channel 9 and high definition channel 729) in addition to Gainesville’s WCJB-TV. Ocala and Marion County are both part of the Orlando market. Prior to this, the Cox system in Ocala only offered WCJB due to contractual obligations even though that city is not in the same television market as Gainesville. To further complicate matters for viewers in the area of northwest Marion County, WNBW-DT, an NBC affiliate located in Gainesville and in operation since 2008, also identifies itself as channel 9, using that channel as its PSIP, though broadcasting on VHF channel 9 itself, as opposed to WFTV, which broadcasts on UHF channel 39, but also using a PSIP of 9. WNBW is not seen on the Cox or Spectrum systems serving Marion County.
On July 24, 2018, Cox Enterprises announced that it was “exploring strategic options” for Cox Media Group’s television stations, including WFTV, which the company said could involve “partnering or merging these stations into a larger TV company.” Cox Media Group’s president, Kim Guthrie, subsequently clarified to trade publication Radio & Television Business Report that the company was solely seeking “a merger or partnership” and not an outright sale of the television stations.
In February 2019, it was announced that Apollo Global Management would acquire Cox Media Group and Northwest Broadcasting’s stations. Although the group planned to operate under the name Terrier Media, it was later announced in June 2019 that Apollo would also acquire Cox’s radio and advertising businesses, and retain the Cox Media Group name. The sale was completed on December 17, 2019.