Timeline of Australian television

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This timeline of Australian television lists important station launches, programs, major television events, and technological advancements that have significantly changed the forms of broadcasting available to viewers of television in Australia. The history of television in Australia can be traced back to an announcement from the Menzies' government concerning plans for television services in Sydney and Melbourne.[1]

The new medium was introduced by Bruce Gyngell with the words "Good evening, and welcome to television".[2] Colour television was introduced in 1975, while subscription television, initially on the Galaxy platform, began in the mid-1990s. Digital terrestrial television was introduced on 1 January 2001 in Australia's five largest capital cities, later to be expanded to smaller cities and regional areas.

1920s-30s[edit]

Experimental TV broadcasts began as early as 1929 in Melbourne on stations 3DB and 3UZ using the Radiovision system by Gilbert Miles and Donal McDonald.[3] Other experimental transmissions followed in other cities, such as Brisbane in 1934[4] by amateur station VK4CM.

1950s[edit]

1950
  • June: Robert Menzies' government announces a gradual introduction of television in Australia, with plans to launch an ABC Television station in Sydney and other areas subject to funding approval. As well as this, commercial television services in Sydney and Melbourne are planned with "any other capital city where it is felt that the applicant's capacity to provide a service justifies the issue of a licence".[5]
1953
  • January: The Menzies government amends the 1948 Broadcasting Act to provide legislative framework for commercial television licenses.[6]
1954
1956
  • 13 July: Test transmissions commence in Sydney on TCN-9 in monochome.[8]
  • 16 July: HSV-7 Melbourne commences test transmissions in monochrome.[9]
  • 16 September: TCN-9 Sydney launches at 7.00pm. Announcer John Godson is the first voice heard and Bruce Gyngell is the first person seen in-vision, introducing This is Television.[10]
  • 27 October: TCN-9 officially opens.[8]
  • 4 November: HSV-7 Melbourne officially launches.[1]
  • 5 November: The Australian Broadcasting Commission begins television broadcasting with ABN-2 Sydney.[10]
  • 19 November: Melbourne's ABV-2 launches.[1]
  • 22 November: 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne commence, televised by ABV-2 & HSV-7 and during GTV-9 test transmissions.[11]
1957
1959

1960s[edit]

1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969

1970s[edit]

1971
1972
  • 13 March: Soap opera Number 96 debuts, heralding the night 'Australian television lost its virginity'
  • 20 March: Brisbane channel BTQ7 claims Australia's first one-hour news bulletin, The Big News [36]
1974
  • 29 August: GSW-9 Albany begins broadcasting as a relay of VEW-8 Kalgoorlie.[citation needed]
  • October: Colour test transmissions begin on Australian television.
  • 8 November: Countdown begins on ABC.
1975
  • 1 March: At midnight, colour television is introduced across the country. The main networks celebrate with their own unique slogan - Come to Colour (ABC TV), Seven Colours Your World (Seven Network), Living Colour (Nine Network) and 0 - First in Colour (0-10 Network).[10]
1976
1977
1979

1980s[edit]

1980
1982
1983
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989

1990s[edit]

1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999

2000s[edit]

2000
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics' opening ceremony becomes one of the highest-rating programs in Australian television history.
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
  • 1 January: ABC TV becomes ABC1 and changes its logo along with ABC2.[79]
  • 7 March: The Nine Network launches its new high definition multichannel, Nine HD.
  • 28 April: Darwin Digital Television, a Network Ten affiliate, is launched.
  • 7 May: SBS TV changes its logo and its on-air look and along with it comes a new slogan - "Six Billion Stories and Counting" and SBS HD become 720p.
  • 3 August: Nine airs the last ever edition of long-running Canberra-based political program, Sunday after 27 years.
  • 8 – 24 August: SBS TV partners up with the Seven Network for joint coverage of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
  • 20 October: Nine relaunches National Nine News as Nine News.
  • 24 November: Freeview Australia is launched across Australia at 6:29pm
2009
  • 26 March: Ten's sports channel One HD launches - the first commercial digital-only network in Australia.
  • 3 May: Nine launches The Morning News Hour and The Late News (renamed Nightline)
  • 1 June: SBS TV becomes SBS One and SBS Two launches on digital television.
  • 9 August: Nine's first general entertainment digital channel GO! launches on Channel 99 in Metro and Channel 88 in Regional.
  • 1 November: Seven's first general entertainment digital channel 7TWO launches on Channel 72 in Metro and Channel 62 in Regional.
  • 4 December: ABC3 launches.

2010s[edit]

2010
  • 1 March: Television Sydney commences digital broadcasting on Channel 44.
  • 10 April: Digital-only community station West TV launches in Perth, replacing Access 31.
  • 28 May: C31 Melbourne commences digital broadcasting on Channel 44.
  • 7 June: 31 Brisbane commences digital broadcasting on Channel 44.
  • 10 June: Ten West commences digital broadcasting in Western Australia.
  • 22 July: ABC News 24 launches on channel 24 by the ABC as Australia's first free-to-air English news channel. (SBS originally had an international news channel)
  • 25 September: 7mate launches on Channel 73 by the Seven Network, replacing Seven HD on Channel 73 in Metro, 70 in Darwin and 60 in Tasmania, 63 in Prime/Queensland areas. 7TWO is changed to Best of British-oriented format.
  • 26 September: GEM launches on Channel 90 by the Nine Network and Channel 80 in WIN/NBN areas replacing Nine HD, two days late due to technical issues.
  • 5 November: C31 Adelaide to launch digital broadcasting on Channel 44 is 44 Adelaide, as allocated to all metropolitan community television services.
  • 1 December: WIN Television commences broadcast of Network TEN in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA).
2011
  • 11 January: Eleven launches on Channel 11 in Metro and Channel 55 in Regional areas.
  • 16 January: The Big Red "7" logo expands to Prime & GWN as names Prime7 and GWN7
  • 2 May: Ten Central commences digital broadcasting in remote areas
  • 8 May: One HD rebrands as One, launching the format with entertainment targeting 25-54 year old men.
  • 18 July: Play School celebrates 45 years
  • 28 July: 7TWO, GO!, GEM, ONE, ELEVEN & 7mate in Albany/Bunbury.
  • 16 September: Australian Television's 55th anniversary.
  • 18 September: Television 4 launches on Channel 64
  • December: Television 4 rebrands as TV4ME launches on Channel 64 and Channel 74 in metropolitan areas via Seven Network.
  • 11 November - February 2012: 7TWO, GO!, GEM, ONE, ELEVEN & 7mate in Mount Gambier/Riverland.
2012
  • 13 January: WIN Television commenced broadcasting of GEM, GO!, ONE, and Eleven in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA).
  • 13 March: Number 96 celebrates 40 years
  • 26 March: Extra launches on Channel 94 in Eastern Seaboard Metro Markets and Channel 84 in Nthn NSW market.
  • 20 April: WIN Television commenced broadcasting of 7mate in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) on LCN 60.
  • 1 May: WIN Gold launches on Channel 84 and Channel 94 in metropolitan areas Perth and Adelaide.
  • 5 May: Win Gold rebrands as Gold.
  • 5 June: WIN Television commenced broadcasting of 7Two in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) on LCN 66.
  • 24 September: Network 10 to commence broadcasting of datacasting channel TVSN (Television Shopping Network) on LCN 14.
  • 27 November: Shutdown of analogue television services: Northern NSW
  • 12 December: NITV commences free-to-air broadcast via SBS
2013
  • Conversion from analogue to digital television is completed: Shutdown of analogue television services: Adelaide SA (2 April); Tasmania (9 April); Perth WA (16 April); Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast QLD (28 May); Regional and Remote WA (25 June); Darwin NT (30 July); Sydney, Central Coast NSW (3 December); Melbourne VIC, Remote Central and Eastern Australia (10 December).
  • April 1: SBS relaunches digital channel SBS TWO (SBS 2) with a focus on the under-40 age group.

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External links[edit]