Classic TV Listings


Classic TV Guide Melbourne, Wednesday 20 June 1984.

Crippling power strikes effectively paralyse Victoria with half of the states industry closed down and severe restrictions on trams and trains. Television transmissions were also heavily restricted to between 6pm and 8pm. Here’s the guide from that day.

6.00 News Headlines
6.05 The Explorers
6.35 Dr Who
7.00 ABC News
7.30 Nationwide
8.00 Close

6.00 The New Price Is Right
6.30 Seven National News
7.00 Sons and Daughters
7.30 Family Ties
8.00 Close

6.00 National Nine News
7.00 Sale Of The Century
7.30 Willesee
8.00 Close

6.00 Eyewitness News
7.00 MAS*H
7.30 Perfect Match
8.00 Close

6.00 Rock Around The World
6.30 The Lesnlewski Family
7.00 International Sports Magazine
7.30 World News
8.00 Close

Source: The Age, 20/06/1984


Interesting, so for 20 out of 24 hours of the day, the 5 TV stations would have broadcast just snow.


I think they were mostly just showing test patterns or a slide listing with the night’s schedule. SBS would have been showing test pattern for pretty much all of the daytime anyway.

But if I recall correctly, there was one of these power strike days where the restrictions got lifted slightly during the day, so 6-8pm became 4-11pm. It may have been this particular day but was obviously after The Age had already gone into print. I remember expecting to have TV from 6 to 8 only but I got home from school and found out that it had been changed to have channels start at 4.00.

Those sort of power restrictions used to also happen from time to time in the 1970s and 80s. Apparently 3 year old me circa 1975 used to get upset if Adventure Island wasn’t on because the TV stations were shut down for the afternoon and in those days there were no VCRs or anything to act as a diversion :stuck_out_tongue:

Channel 9 took the opportunity on the day to pilot a one-hour news bulletin instead of their normal 6.30 half-hour news. It was presented by Brian Naylor and Sue McIntosh. But Nine never went ahead with the idea after that.


Do you remember how long the power strike in 1984 lasted for?, was it days or weeks?

I remember watching a clip of Channel 7 Melbourne’s last few minutes of analogue transmission on YouTube & there’s a brief Black & White clip of Graham Purches reading news headlines saying that HSV 7 will be shortly closing down because of a power strike, that must have been in the early 70’s.


It would have been only 1 or 2 days max. Possibly only just the 1 day that TV schedules were affected as that was usually only last resort stuff.

Radio stations were allowed to continue to broadcast unrestricted as most people would have had battery powered radios and electrical receivers probably didn’t suck up as much power as TV sets did.


New South Wales and Queensland also had power strikes in the 1970’s and 1980’s and from what I have researched in the past, TV stations in those states were not subject to the same restrictions as Victoria.

I also came across a power strike that occurred in 1989 in Victoria but according to newspaper reports, TV was not affected this time, with the only restriction being that not more than one TV was allowed to be used in each house at any one time.


A Rare Closedown for GTV9 during the 1980’s, They Normally Stay On Air all Night Long With Movies, was Regional Victoria Affected Too?


That was during the era when only the final session of the day’s play could be shown live against the gate (in this case Adelaide). What would have been shown on the ABC between the 1pm news and the start of cricket coverage at 3.40pm?


Test pattern and music, it’s listed at 7:50am and “various times until 3:40pm”.


I wonder if they did the full procedure, or was it just a simple announcement?


Yes Regional Victoria was affected too. Although GMV6 and AMV4 kept a normal schedule because half of their respective viewing areas were in New South Wales and they had a ticker saying that TV viewers in Victoria should turn off their sets except between 6pm and 8pm.


Probably just a simple announcement including a plug to tune in to 3AK which was staying on air


I wonder how many people did actually turn off their TV sets after 8pm, I mean whos to know if someone still had their TV turn on?


The old honour system, with the expectation that once the test patterns came on that people would turn off. There would not have been many people wanting to leave a TV set on for hours with just a test pattern or less showing on the screen.

These power restrictions used to go to quite an extreme but I guess people went along with it because they knew if they sucked the grid dry they would have nothing and naturally there were exceptions made for hospitals and so on…

This was another power interruption day, with TV hours restricted to 1-5pm and 7-11pm:

And this date in 1973 saw commercial TV hours cut as it wasn’t a power strike but rather a TV technicians strike, although ATV0 appears to have made an exception not to miss the debut of The Mike Walsh Show that afternoon from Sydney which was not affected by the strike.

ABC continued to broadcast as normal.


Imagine the outrage today if there was a power strike …


The similar strike in the late 80s in Argentina resulted in all non-ATC (now TPA) stations cut transmission hours. It took a very long time to these stations to recovery, since all Buenos Aires’ commercial TV channel didn’t came on air until noon until latter half of 2000s, but strangely, Canal Trece made a big exception when launched Arriba Argentinos in 2005, which continue to broadcast till present day, however, most (if not all) commercial stations only transmit breakfast programs after 7AM!

sorry for off the topic, #myfriends


Aren’t there now laws in at least NSW and QLD to prevent this from occuring?


Today’s TV: 3.1.1976, Sydney

And 3 years later… 3.1.1979, Sydney:

Source: TV Week


Fascinating schedules.

Was that the first time Seven had the rights to both Australian Open and test cricket at the same time? Seems that Seven broadcasting test cricket in the 70s is a forgotten chapter in Australian sports broadcasting history. Kerry Packer founded World Series Cricket after initially failing to snatch exclusive broadcast rights to Australian cricket from the ABC, so why did Australian Cricket Board allowed Seven to show test cricket alongside the ABC?
The legendary Norman May was known for his commentary at Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Didn’t realise he was a good cricket commentator too.

It was the second season of World Series Cricket so Kerry Packer could have allowed TCN9 to show the entire match between West Indies and the World live against the gate in Sydney, instead of just showing the first two hours of play with no highlights show to catch up later.


Even though it was a contest made for television, crowds were apparently slow in building so having full live coverage might have kept even more people away. And showing empty stands on TV is not a good look

Ten had a year with cricket as well during the 1970s which would have also been in tandem with ABC.

Not sure why Seven (and Ten) were granted rights over different years but Nine wasn’t.