A brief history of Public Service Broadcasting

1904

Commercial radio launched in USA

1914 – 1919

Civilian radio transmissions banned

Nov 1922

British Broadcasting Company formed from managers of radio equipment manufacturers. First general manager John Reith. First daily radio broadcast includes news, politics and music.

1923

Radio Times launched to avoid paying newspapers to publish programme listings.

1924

King George’s opening of Wembley Exhibition broadcast live to 10 million.

1924

John Logie Baird’s patent for 30 line television transmission in GB.

1925

British Broadcasting Corporation is given financial independence through licence fee. Reith’s memo formed basis for public service broadcasting for 30 yrs.

1927

2 million licences at ten shillings (50p)

1928

BBC granted Royal Charter

1936 – 1939

BBC begins TV broadcasts though radio still dominant.

1940

Different programmes set up for different audiences: Home (as before), Light aimed at working class, Third offered ‘high’ culture in 1946

1939

No further TV transmission during war.

1946 – 1956

BBC holds monopoly – commercial TV would lead to lowering of standards

1953

20 million people watch QEII coronation.

1954

Independent Television Authority instituted by conservative government. Commercial TV to follow PSB principles too

1955

First TV advert Gibbs SR toothpaste. Regional net-works – different approach from BBC’s.

1962

ITV full coverage – takes over BBC and radio in popularity.

Pilkington Report criticises ITV for lack of quality.

First communication satellite, Telstar

1964

BBC2 launched.

Pirate radio stations begin broadcasting.

1967

First colour transmissions on BBC2

13 countries linked by first global TV programme.

Radio One created

1969

Moon landing – huge audience’s watch live.

First colour on BBC1

1972

Commercial radio stations allowed.

1977

Annan report criticised both BBC and ITV as not catering to public diversity and sets up Channel 4

1984

Sky set up by Rupert Murdoch.

1990

Complaints and standards committees set up.

1996

Greg Dyke’s channel 5 starts broadcasting reaches 70% homes.

1998

Launch of digital broadcasting with Sky and On digital.

2000

Greg Dyke appointed DG of BBC

2002

Collapse of (On) ITV digital.

BBC Freeview launched

Ofcom new regulator

Communications Bill

2006

BBC’s Royal Charter due for renewal

 


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