TV History - Questions

A lot of the old Australian commercial comps I watch tend to be sourced from Prime and WIN and the ones from the late-90s and early-00s still had a decent amount of weird christian commercials.


Another question I have been pondering recently: when did the ABC stop showing the cricket in regional areas? I know that they showed the cricket in the bush long after the WSC/Packer coup, which ushered in the golden age of Channel 9’s cricket coverage.

Places like Bombala NSW didn’t get local commercial TV until 1985, for example.

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Aggregation pretty much ended cricket on ABC regional TV as it changed over to airing on the Nine affiliates at the time.

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December 1991, the Boxing Day Test was the last test match to be shown on ABC TV in regional areas. When Victoria and Northern NSW got aggregation in 1992 it moved to Vic TV and NBN respectively. Viewers in SA saw cricket on SES/RTS and GTS/BKN after that. The reason why ABC TV showed cricket from 1981-91 was because the regional commercial stations preferred to cover Channel 7’s tennis and golf tournaments (the Australian Open Tennis was held in December before 1987 and that clashed with one of the tests). Having to choose between that and the cricket was a hard decision, so they decided to give the cricket to the ABC.

In 1985 Australia went to England for the Ashes, ABC did not have access to this test series so Nine got exclusive rights, the first day (usually a Thursday) they had The Mike Walsh Show (primetime) first preference to the cricket which they joined the coverage afterwards. Nine showed the following 3-4 days live in full. Hey Hey got moved to Saturday 6.30pm as a result. Regional commercial channels did not show the Ashes until after 11pm. This cheesed me off as a kid. I set the VCR to record a couple of hours of cricket to watch after school the next day.


Thanks for that detailed reply. I thought that most of the solus commercial stations would have taken the Ch 9 feed regardless. Cricket has always been the primary summer sport in Australia after all; tennis and golf really only command large audiences for the marquee tournaments (that’s true even today, really).

I am sure WIN4 showed the cricket though, well before aggregation, since a lot of Sydney pubs had their antennae pointed south to get around the lockout for SCG games. The WIN4 ants were then replaced with 91 element UHF’ers when WIN4 became WIN59.


I’m pretty sure that was only for ODIs, but ABWN-5A would have also had full Sydney Test coverage.

Getting Prime and Capital was also an advantage to some extent with UHF. I recall a Sydney CBD hotel I stayed at in the early 00s had Prime, WIN and SC TEN to rooms and the MATV system still listed SC TEN as “CAPITAL”. Reception was perfectly clear too.


and in places such as Campbelltown, Picton and Thirlmere the Wollongong channels were like a local signal.

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Not just those areas but further away in north western Sydney. Historically, the Illawarra channels have always put in a better signal than the Sydney channels in places like Richmond, Windsor and the surrounding suburbs.


Hi all, quick question.

Back in the 2000s, did any of the commercial networks do state election coverage?

I know that here in SA Seven did regular updates, along with a late night bulletin, either presented by Jane Doyle or John Riddle, with Mike Smithson either at the ABC Studios (Where the Tally Room was), or in studio (In 2010, when they stopped the tally room).

Obviously since the start of the 2010s, Nine and Seven have pretty much done full scale broadcasts for most state elections.

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I don’t know about the 2000s, but in 1982 the Victorian State Election was covered with hourly reports on ABC, while Seven, Nine and Ten all had half-hour updates at 10.30pm. SBS even did a 3-minute late news update – Saturday 3 April 1982 — VICTORIA – Television.AU

For Queensland’s 1977 state election it appears that the most coverage was put on by TVQ0 at 3 hours, while ABC and QTQ9 scattered updates through the night. QTQ9 had a half-hour report at 10.00pm, and BTQ7 had same at 10.15pm – Saturday 12 November 1977 — BRISBANE – Television.AU


Thanks, I know that some of the commercials did do some form of coverage here in SA in the 1980s, as archive footage of 1985 shows multiple sets in the tally room. Obviously the ABC has had extensive coverage for years.

I read online an old news article from Antony Green who said that the demise of state tally rooms was caused by the lack of coverage from commercial broadcasters. In SA, from at least 1997 onwards the tally room was actually in the ABC Studios, presumably as they were the only ones running full scale coverage, and it was cheaper than renting out a large space.

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Some caps from the 1983 Queensland State Election coverage on TVO. The tally room was at QEII stadium at Nathan

ABC also had extensive coverage with the 7pm news starting from the tally room with Bruce Paige. Based on the opener the start of the bulletin went out nationally.


You’ve prompted me to dig this out… Victoria 2002 :stuck_out_tongue:

(apologies for the rough scans!)

Source: TV Week


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