Overseas TV History

There’s also still the one oddity that London is still a “weekday” and “weekend” franchise, even though it’s just the one company now - and that handover is still at 17.15 on Friday afternoon. [it then hands over to breakfast at the usual times over the weekend and on Monday morning… :face_with_spiral_eyes:]

And that’s likely a relic of when the national ITN news was on at the time… originally the handover (between what was then Thames and LWT) was at 19.00, but the regulator ended up re-balancing things in favour of the latter in the 80s, by moving the handover to one program before what was then the ITN News at 5.45.

Again, in modern times it’s a transparent thing and a program now straddles the handover (currently The Chase), and London ITV1 has had a consistent identity for twenty years now so no-one notices - but from a licence standpoint, it’s still there.

One would presume if there was ever a hypothetical problem with the ITV company that saw them split, Ofcom would recommend adjusting the licence conditions… though in this day and age if they re-advertised them, they’d likely recommend doing so as a 7-day licence, than adjusting any handover time.

They’ve done such things before to better regulate what had already happened de-facto, like splitting Wales out from its former dual region with the West of England (which had already been merged with the South-West on air).


add that to my list of bizarre British TV quirks


From 1981, a 7 p.m. handover from Thames to London Weekend Television:

From 1982, here’s the first early (5:15 p.m.) handover from Thames to LWT, with a special graphic to mark the new time:

And here’s a (by now much more low-key) handover from 1988:


And LWT getting into the “high-brow” stuff straight away with Play Your Cards Right, haha. :joy:

Thanks for this, I wasn’t 100% sure that it was something brought in along with the 1982 franchise round or a little later. Well… that handover was on January 1st, so that answers my question :slight_smile:


Of course, when LWT took over ATV in London in 1968, it had originally wanted to position itself as a relatively high-brow commercial operation. That quickly failed, as Timothy Green recounts:

For anyone interested learning more about LWT’s about-face, here’s an old article from Transdiffusion:


Mmm, David Frost… who then tried almost exactly the same thing with TV-am a decade and a half later, to be upmarket and informative (presumably thinking they’d need to outdo the BBC on that)… only to realise that the Beeb put on… well, see further up this thread. Didn’t last either.

Given the moral panic if anything “public service” were ever to go downmarket that likely existed all the way to the mid-90s or so (and was certainly something in their sights in '68, hence ^^^) - I sorta understand why they’d play to the regulators like that…

Same when Sky went to five channels before BSB could launch, and Murdoch giving them the (paraphrased) “I’m Australian by birth, I basically don’t give a toss about how the UK sees upmarket and downmarket” spiel, in response to a “more channels will mean worse quality!” question (there’s a Channel 4 News report on that on YT somewhere)…

…and yet the eyeballs on ITV (and arguably Sky) at least always tended to go to the entertainment, in hindsight. Funny that. :man_shrugging:


he EVEN tried to get an ITV franchise in the '90s in association with Virgin, thankfully he didn’t get it because I bet you, he wouldn’t have learned his lesson and tried going for highbrow content again

also if y’all were interested in seeing how ITV Night Time worked back in the 80’s/90’s - here’s a very good video about it!


And here’s a 1982 closedown/sign-off from Channel Television. The Channel Islands were a part of the ITV (ITA/IBA) system despite (technically) not being a part of the United Kingdom, but rather a Crown Dependency:

And speaking of British Crown possesions, here’s a compilation of IDs and continuity from Hong Kong’s English-language stations from the early 1980s:


Love the reminder on the closedowns to switch off the TV. I think that was rather unique to the UK as I’ve never seen it anywhere else.


Soviet TV used to sign off with the warning “Don’t forget to turn off the TV set,” accompanied with a beeping sound Apparently, some Soviet sets had the reputation for overheating and causing fires.


YouTuber Adam Martyn has just uploaded an interesting video about what we were talking about a few daya ago–40 years of brekafast television in the UK:


That was a global problem because of the hot valves inside earlier sets. Electronic TV’s had largely eliminated the problem.


Since we’ve mentioned TV-am, here’s an in-depth documentary about ITV’s first breakfast franchise-holder (1983-1992). Australia’s own Bruce Gyngell plays a prominent role in TV-am’s later years:


And here’s another interesting British TV documentary, a history of TV news in that country with a focus on anchors/newsreaders/presenters:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


A 1998 edition of the 7:15 p.m. news on POP TV in Slovenia. The female anchor, Nataša Pirc-Musar, is now the President of Slovenia:


Here’s another example of a journalist who left her career to pursue other interests (in this case, royal duties): Letizia Ortiz (a former TVE reporter/presenter) who’s now the Queen of Spain. This is an excerpt from August 2000, when she fronted the popular current affairs program Informe Semanal.


A 1980s-'90s ID for multiethnic station KTSF in San Francisco:

A 1998 Cantonese newscast from the station:


ESPN’s surrealistic This is SportsCenter campaign of promos forever changed the image of the network’s flagship program in the 1990s; it made it a “cool” brand almost overnight. Created by the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the promos were very effective parodies of campaigns in which TV personalities would give behind-the-scenes tours of their networks’ operations.

Here are some examples. In this promo, ESPN drafts a very young sports anchor–and regrets it:

A look at ESPN’s international operations:

And this is how ESPN prepared for the Y2K bug:


A compilation of idents used by Andalusian channel Canal Sur from 1989 (the year it signed on) until 2019.

Here’s a handful of remastered jingles from the good old days of Canal 13 Buenos Aires between the late 1960s to the early 1980s. These jingles were mostly used to announce upcoming shows.