The station commenced broadcasting in July 1987 in Port Moresby. In April 1988, the station opened relays in Lae, Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Arawa and Rabaul. The next year, the Post and Telecommunications Department (PTC) made a microwave bearer available for live transmission in Lae, Mt. Hagen, Goroka and Madang.
In November 1993, EM TV moved off the PTC's bearer, and transferred program distribution to a satellite system. The current satellite footprint allows the signal to be seen within all of PNG, and as far away as Pakistan, India, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Today, EM TV operates two transmitters in Port Moresby, and leases and maintains six downlink and retransmission centres in Lae, Rabaul, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Madang and Kavieng. Other groups such as mine sites, cable operators and local community groups have set up their own satellite receivers and redistribute the signal in areas such as Pogera, Ok Tedi (Tabubil), Misima, Lihir, Kutubu, Wewak, Kimbe, Popondetta, Manus and many other smaller areas.
Previous Affiliateship with Nine Network
EMTV was once owned by the Nine Network Australia, which it sourced most of its shows, idents, slogans and ads from. One of the most recognisable Nine Network affiliteship flag was EMTV's 2004 indent, which used Nine's Still the One music. This ident is still in use today, as EMTV dropped its affiliateship with Nine in late 2006, as it was sold to Fiji Television Limited, which meant a slowdown in the networks quality of television, and the dropping of Nine's American television lineup. Strangely, EMTV has still kept in good touch with Nine, as it still shows Nine's Australian shows through 2009, including Domestic Blitz, the Today Show, and RPA.
After the split, EMTV began showing other shows such as the Simpsons, Gray's Anatomy, Army Wives and 24, which are held by Nine's rivals, Network Ten and the Seven Network. Strangley enough, an ad for Army Wives from Channel Ten appeared on EMTV for a while.
But Nine's footprint on the network still appears strong, and there's speculation that Nine will try to reincorporate EMTV back into PBL, to try to compete with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation run Australia Network which is shown across the Asia Pacific Region, although such a move wouldn't impact on the ABC (and Australia Network) much.
News and A Current Affairs
EMTV's News flagship is National EMTV News, which uses a simple version of Nine's 2004 news graphics and is telecast daily from 6pm. They show locally made news reports, and reports from Nine News Australia. Being Papua New Guinea's only commercial station, EMTV controls a major part of News in the country.
EMTV also shows Nine's TODAY Show, and A Current Affair on weekdays.
- "PNG launches state-owned TV channel", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 17 September 2008