23 News | Rockford, IL | WIFR - Spectrum

As part of the FCC's historic spectrum auction, the FCC license for 23 WIFR was sold. Accordingly, on May 31, 2017, 23 WIFR surrendered its license back to the FCC. The reason the spectrum auction was held is because the FCC is moving frequencies around to make room for a 5G wireless cellular network. 23 WIFR’s frequency was in the range the FCC wanted.

But, to ensure that viewers in Rockford, Freeport, and surrounding communities didn’t lose any of WIFR's programming, including CBS Network programming and WIFR's local news, immediately after WIFR surrendered its license, a new station, WIFR-LD, commenced operations. WIFR-LD operates on the same channel as the old 23 WIFR.

The overwhelming majority of viewers will not see any changes or experience any disruption however this new station has lower power but when you factor in the height of our tower and the model of our antenna, we are still very reachable throughout the Stateline Area.

If you are having problems receiving the station you can try the following tips to tune us in.

1. Make sure the antenna is pointed towards the station’s main broadcast tower, which is on the west side of Rockford. Many people try to split the difference between Rockford and another TV market. You may have to move your antenna to point more towards WIFR’s broadcast tower in Rockford.

2. Use of an indoor amplified antenna is recommended and it should be properly placed.

3. Check connections and make sure they are tight.

4. If you are not seeing WIFR-LD in your channel line-up, try adding channel 41.1 (WIFR-LD’s actual broadcast channel number) and try moving the antenna to see if that helps.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Cable/Satellite Subscribers: If you receive 23 WIFR via a subscription to Comcast, Mediacom, Dish Network, DirecTV, or any other cable operator, you should not see any changes. We worked with all cable and satellite operators to ensure that they will continue to receive our programming via the new WIFR-LD without any disruptions.

Over-The-Air Viewers: The vast majority of 23 WIFR over-the-air viewers in our market (more than 98%) are able to receive WIFR-LD over the air. You should continue to tune to Channel 23.1 to receive WIFR-LD. You should NOT need to rescan your television set or take any other special action to receive WIFR-LD. You may have to adjust your antenna to receive the new signal. Bottom line, more than 98% of viewers should not see any difference whatsoever.

Antenna TV and the Justice Network: There are no changes to Antenna TV or the Justice Network. Each cable or satellite operator that carries those channels will continue to carry those channels on the same channel position as they do today. Over-the-air viewers also continue to tune to Channels 23.2 and 23.3 to watch their favorite programs on Antenna TV and the Justice Network.