Maine – Cities

Maine’s residents are presented with television broadcasts in three markets. The largest is the Portland market, with nearly 400,000 viewers, followed by Bangor with around 140,000 and Presque Isle with roughly 30,000.

Television broadcasting begin in Maine when WABI-TV signed on, which took place on January 25, 1953. WABI-TV serves the Bangor market with CBS programming. Another early television station in Maine was WCSH-TV, which got its call letters from operating from the Congress Square Hotel, which was also owned by the station’s original owners. WCSH-TV began broadcasting on December 20, 1953, to the Portland audience.

Current Television Broadcast Networks

Portland, Maine, is served by every major network with high-power broadcast affiliates. WCSH provides NBC shows, WMTW is the ABC affiliate, WGME-TV is CBS, and WPFO airs the Fox network. Portland also receives MyNetworkTV through WPME and the CW from WPXT. Two stations broadcast PBS, WCBB (licensed in Augusta) and WMEA-TV (licensed in Biddeford).

Bangor, Maine, the second largest television market in Maine, receives high-power signals for every major network except Fox, which is broadcast by low-power station WFVX-LD. ABC is provided by WVII-TV, CBS is through WABI-TV, and NBC is broadcast by WLBZ. Bangor also has a PBS satellite station broadcasting to its residents and to the surrounding area, under the call sign WMEB-TV.

The Presque Isle market in northern Maine is served by only two full-power stations. WAGM-TV is a CBS affiliate station broadcasting to Presque Isle, and PBS satellite WMEM-TV is present as well.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network provides public television services as a PBS broadcaster to communities throughout the state’s different markets. The Network is owned by the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation, which operates stations throughout Maine to ensure coverage. It was formed through a merger of different public broadcasters in Maine.

Current Cable and Satellite Providers

Maine’s residents receive cable television service from some national companies, like Comcast and TimeWarner Cable, as well as more local companies like Bee Line Cable. Maine’s satellite options mirror those available in other parts of the country, with DirecTV and Dish Network attracting business from all over the state.

College and Campus Television

College television is in a robust and thriving state in Maine. Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, operates Bates College Television, or BCTV. It is run by students, and it provides a variety of original programming conceived of and created by Bates students.

Bowdoin College has a ReadyCam system installed, allowing professors and faculty to appear on television programs that they otherwise might not be able to.

The history of educational television in Maine is closely connected to its universities and colleges, as well. The very first educational television station in Maine began broadcasting on November 13, 1961, as a combined project of Colby College, Bates College, and Bowdoin College. In 1963, the University of Maine became host to WMEB-TV, at its campus in Orono. The university opened transmitters in different parts of the state to expand its reach. The two stations later merged to form the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

DTV Channel Lists are available for the following cities in Maine.

Portland, Maine (ME)
Lewiston, Maine (ME)
Bangor, Maine (ME)
South Portland, Maine (ME)
Auburn, Maine (ME)
Biddeford, Maine (ME)
Augusta, Maine (ME)
Saco, Maine (ME)
Westbrook, Maine (ME)
Waterville, Maine (ME)