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, EMTV 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 previously owned by the Nine Network Australia, from where most of its shows, idents, slogans and ads were sourced. One of the most recognisable Nine Network affiliteship flag was EMTV's 2004 ident, which used Nine's 'Still the One' music, first used by ABC in the United States in 1976. This ident is still in use today, despite EMTV dropping its affiliateship with Nine in late 2006 when it was sold to Fiji Television Limited, leading to a slowdown in the network's quality of television, and the dropping of Nine's American television lineup. EMTV continues to host many shows produced by Nine, as it still shows Nine's Australian shows through 2009, including Domestic Blitz, the Today Show, and RPA.
There was speculation that Nine would reincorporate EMTV back into Publishing and Broadcasting Limited to compete with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation run Australia Network, which is shown across the Asia-Pacific Region.
News and 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 aspect 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