Overseas TV History

On that, a group of local researchers looked back at the British government papers on BBC WSTV and StarTV a few years ago, when BBC World Service was banned in Hong Kong.

Li family’s Hutchison group, the founder of the latter, lobbied directly to the British Foreign Secretary in 1991 for a laxer regulation, in exchange for the political benefits in broadcasting “political, responsible news coverage” in a post-1997 HK.

Their requests - a dedicated Cantonese channel, lifting regulations on subscription TV and finanical subsidies - were rejected, on the suspicion of Hutchison using London as a ploy for opening the commercial TV market in general.

They were also in close communication with the Chinese government, which reassured London a WSTV free from Chinese interference and possible instabilities after the handover. Alas, as Murdorch bought StarTV in 1993, WSTV was dropped in China, HK and Taiwan, in order for the service to reach the mainland market.


Continuing the ITV nostalgia a few posts ago, this is a really good website that documents radio and TV broadcasting history in South West England - mainly from the BBC (the site was named after the initial callsign of their local station), but it also noted the likes of Westward, TSW and Channel TV.

Some gems included:

  • BBC’s local newsmagazine interviewed the three ITV SW franchise bidders in 1980 (incumbent Westward, would-be winner TSW, and West Country TV):
  • Some BBC Spotlight Jersey bulletins following the 1995 Channiland incident, which was presented from a Channel TV studio:
  • BBC West’s first news bulletin, 1957:
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According to “102 Minutes to Live”, the definitive account of “what happened inside the towers”, the wife and daughter of Steve Jacobson both had 9/11-related cancers from the toxic stuff that’s in computers, walls and carpets and plasterboard etc that got turned into a massive dust cloud that blanketed lower Manhattan…

Jacobson was the WPIX-TV engineer who was in the station’s TX control room on 110 of WTC1 just under the rooftop mast and who died – SJ told his colleague Victor at the station after Victor reached him just after WTC2 was hit: “They’re terrorists! They hit the other tower! Try to get to the roof!” – “it’s too hot to leave the room! Send help!”.

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Emmer was joined by legendary English composer and musician David Bedford, well-known for his work with Mike Oldfield, as well as being a prolific composer and conductor of avant-garde and kids-oriented classical works. The piece was recorded by the string and percussion sections of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Midlands-based England Symphonic Orchestra, with Bedford directing. Here’s a selection of extra cuts from the package, including the normal-length start-up ident, a normal ident, a closedown ident and some cuts used for promos.

Here’s how the new look launched on April 4, 1988, the day Nederland 3 went for the first time on-air (today is the network’s 26th birthday). The new logo was designed by Frans Schupp, an updated, “sexier” version of the interlocking KRO symbol used since the 1950s. The KRO commissioned a survey among the readers of female magazine Libelle; the results of the survey suggested the use of a dark purple color for the overall identity. The impressive, fast-paced ident used new and revolutionary techniques, including a flying “skymote” steadicam, which elevated costs to nearly 1 million guilders, a significant feat for the time.

Here’s how the NOS covered Nederland 3’s launch back in 1988; the opening ceremony was held in Utrecht’s Vredenburg Music Hall (since rebuilt and greatly expanded as a cultural center), and was initially targeted to minorities, with programming emphasizing long-form news programming and cultural content, plus new, experimental formats which couldn’t fit Nederland 1’s nor 2’s schedule; longer-form sport programming was also show in the weekends. NOS became the main programmer of the new frequency, which gave the smaller, public-service, ethnic and minority-oriented services a fixed place to broadcast.

Nederland 3’s inaugural branding was designed by Will Bakker, a prolific designer who was worked for all Dutch TV networks working with production company NOB’s design department, and used 3D technology with a very contemporary and minimalist style for the time, produced by Gabrielle Otten. Music was composed by Dutch composer and bandleader Tonny Eyk (composer of NOS’ Studio Sport fanfare).

The same day, Nederland 1 and 2’s remits were reorganized and rebranded: N1 became the home of conservative broadcasters EO, NCRV, and KRO, plus the liberal-left broadcaster VARA. The network unveiled a new stylized Roman 1 logo from Theo Dijkslag (NOB Design), with music from Emmer; as for N2, the channel became targeted at a broader audience, featuring programming from AVRO, TROS and the Veronica Organization, and, on Sundays, avant-garde progressive offering from the VPRO; the network, nicknamed ATV, wouldn’t have a consistent branding during that time, with a simple, blue “2” numeral being used as channel identification, preferring the use of each broadcaster’s branding.

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In his new video, YouTuber Adam Martyn takes a look at the history of ITV network logos in the UK:

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Since you’ve mentioned VPRO, here are some idents from the 1970s. Several of them are very funny and freaky! :rofl:

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Some listings pages of the vintage Argentine magazine Canal TV in May 1971, with a different design from the one posted here last year (that was from June 1970).


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A compilation of IDs, promos and bumpers of the Italian rolling news channel Rai News 24 from 1999 (when it was launched) until today.

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A 2011 edition of the 5:30 p.m. news on Ireland’s TV3:

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It’s 1993, you’re in Europe and using a motorized satellite dish to surf through all the (analog) TV and radio channels available on the major satellites. This is what you would have seen (some of the channels are encrypted):

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A 1982 edition of the 10 p.m. news from WBBM Chicago, covering the death of Saturday Night Live star and Chicago area native John Belushi:

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In 2002, the BBC began producing special Spotlight-branded opt-outs just for the Channel Islands. Here’s an example from 2003:

And here’s one from 2017, with the pan-regional Spotlight brand giving way to BBC Channel Islands branding:

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In light of Robert MacNeil’s passing, this was him in BBC’s Panorama in 1968, during his 4-year tenure in the Beeb before heading to PBS:

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And this is how PBS NewsHour remembered MacNeil’s career:

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In his latest video, Adam Martyn takes a look at the logos used by Channels 4 and 5 over the years:

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Some excerpts of ITV Meridian’s pretty cool 2002-04 purple coloured news package and studio. The music (introduced in 1999) fitted it properly.

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A selection of idents and promos of Brazilian round-the-clock news channel Globo News, that went to the air on Tuesday 15 October 1996. During its first 14 years, this network had a very catchy signature theme for its IDs, replaced in 2010 by electronic pips.

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The BBC can’t use whatever music they like for broadcast purposes. The department which clears music issues an internal “hotlist” of artists to be avoided because they are either unclearable for many foreign markets or prohibitively expensive.

I would expect that it’s largely the same as the one circulated at ITV; the main problem areas highlighted are tracks or artists whose work can’t be cleared for worldwide use, but there were some that were unclearable even just for the UK.

It was a long list, and I don’t have it to hand, but to give a few examples, anything conducted by Herbert von Karajan wasn’t clearable, along with Erasure and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Simon & Garfunkel was an issue as well, but that was resolved when Paul Simon signed to a new publisher. ABBA tracks were only permitted to be cleared for worldwide use if being used in a documentary about ABBA, and Groove Is in the Heart by Dee-Lite was unclearable for years, before suddenly becoming available again.

There were other artists who would only consider clearance if supplied with a rough edit of the programme on video first, others who wouldn’t give clearance if the programme was about certain topics… all interesting stuff.

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And here’s the 1998-2011 version:

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The closing segment of Telefe Noticias’ midday edition in September 1998, with anchors Amalia Rosas and Franco Salomone standing up in front of the desk.

The newscast ends with a humorous story about a giggle contest in the US and a live shot of a group of young people outside Boca Juniors stadium in Buenos Aires waiting to see the Backstreet Boys. The “experimental” news opener from that short-lived package (introduced in June of '98 and used until early 1999) can be seen here.

Looking back, Amalia Rosas was a familiar face to viewers as she had been on TV since 1971, when Telefe didn’t exist and channel 11 was called Teleonce. Her first on-air job was reading bulletins for the popular afternoon magazine show Matinee, an innovative weekday program (with lots of features!) that ran for no less than 4 or 5 hours every day. Here’s a picture from that era, with Amalia at the newsdesk and Matinee host Rosemarie next to her.


When Matinee ended in the late 1970s, Amalia became a permanent anchor of the lunchtime news and Rosemarie moved to street reporting and fill-in presenting. They continued appearing on the channel’s newscasts until both of them (along with dozens of colleagues) were laid off by Telefe in December 1998.

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