|Type||Region of television network|
First air date
|24 September 1955 , in London|
17 February 1956 in the Midlands
All week in the Midlands from 29 July 1968
|TV transmitters||Sutton Coldfield, Waltham, Ridge Hill, The Wrekin, Croydon, Lichfield, Membury|
|Headquarters||Elstree, London, Birmingham|
| London (weekends, 1955 to 1968)|
Midlands (weekdays, 1956 to 1968; all week, 1968 to 1982)
|Owner||Associated Communications Corporation|
|Dissolved||28 July 1968 (London)|
1 January 1982 , at 12.34 a.m. (Midlands)
|ABC before 8 October 1955|
|625- and 405-line|
|Replaced||ABC Weekend TV in the Midlands on weekends from 1968|
|Replaced by|| Central Independent Television in the Midlands from 1982|
London Weekend Television in London from 1968
|Subsidiary||ATV Music Publishing|
Associated Television (ATV; originally stylized as Associated TeleVision) was a British television broadcaster within the Independent Television (ITV) network. It provided a service to London at weekends from 1955 to 1968, to the Midlands on weekdays from 1956 to 1968, and to the Midlands all week from 1968 to 1982. It was one of the "Big Four" until 1968, and the "Big Five" after 1968, that between them produced the majority of ITV networked programmes. In 1982, ATV was restructured and rebranded as Central Independent Television, under which name it continued to provide the service for the Midlands.
ATV was awarded its first franchise by the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide the Independent Television service at weekends for the London region. This service started on Saturday, 24 September 1955, the second ITA franchise to go on air, and was extended until Sunday, 28 July 1968. ATV was also awarded the franchise to provide the weekdays Independent Television service for the Midlands region. This service started on Friday, 17 February 1956, the third ITA franchisee to go on air, and was extended until Monday, 29 July 1968.
Subsequent to the changes made by the ITA to the regional structure of the Independent Television service, ATV was awarded the franchise to provide a seven-day Independent Television service for the Midlands region which started on Tuesday, 30 July 1968 and was finally extended until 00:34 on Friday, 1 January 1982.
The company was formed from the merger of the Associated Broadcasting Development Company (ABDC) under the control of Norman Collins, and the Incorporated Television Programme Company (ITC) under the control of Prince Littler and Lew Grade, two showbusiness agents.
Both companies had applied for a contract to become one of the new ITV stations. ABDC won the contract but had insufficient money to operate it; ITC failed to win a contract, mainly due to a perceived conflicts of interest resulting from the business operations of Grade and Littler. By the time of the merger ABDC were well advanced with their plans whilst ITPC planned to operate as an independent producer selling their shows to the new network contractors.
When financial problems hit ABDC, the Independent Television Authority, the governing body of ITV, invited Grade and Littler to join the ABDC consortium. This provided the money required and put Littler and Grade in control of the new company, sidelining Collins.
The new company was originally named the Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC), but Associated British Corporation's parent company, which wished to call their station ABC and ran a large chain of cinemas under those initials, successfully sued for prior ownership of the name. After ABC had been operating for three weeks the name was changed to Associated TeleVision Ltd (ATV). The logo, designed for ABC and tweaked for ATV, was a "shadowed eye" inspired by the CBS logo and reputedly designed by Lew Grade on a transatlantic flight back from the US. The logo is one of the most recognisable in broadcasting.
ABC began broadcasting in its own right on Saturday 24 September 1955, after jointly presenting the network's opening night on Thursday 22 September. The name ATV was first seen in London on Saturday 8 October 1955. The company won two contracts, the weekend contract for London and the Monday–Friday contract for the Midlands. The latter service opened on 17 February 1956, with ABC providing the weekend programmes.
The company ran into financial difficulty due to the staggering losses of the first two years of ITV and start-up costs. The London weekday contractor Associated-Rediffusion shouldered some of ATV's losses and further funding was achieved by selling shares to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The company structure was changed several times until 1966, when ATV and ITC both became subsidiaries of the Associated Communications Corporation (ACC), formed by turning the old structure on its head. This marked the point where Lew Grade advanced from being the greatest influence over the company to taking control.
ATV's main impact was in variety and light entertainment.
In the contract and region changes in 1968, ATV lost the weekend franchise in London to the London Television Consortium, later renamed London Weekend Television, but its Midlands contract was renewed and extended for the full seven days. At this point the company was renamed ATV Network Limited.
During the 1970s, ATV received much criticism over its lack of local programming, particularly for the east of its region; such critics held that local shows had a Birmingham focus. In 1980, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) decided that ATV's lack of regional programming and production (it had a major studio centre at Elstree in Hertfordshire, a legacy of its London contract, well outside its Midlands franchise) was hampering the region, so it insisted that the new applicant for the franchise be more clearly based in the region and have separate facilities for the East and West Midlands.
ATV Midlands Limited, a shell company created by ACC solely for the franchise process, applied successfully for the contract. As a condition of its award, ACC was forced to sell 49% of the company, relinquish executive roles, sell the Elstree studios and rename the company to demonstrate that it was effectively a new business.
ATV ceased broadcasting at 12.34am on Friday 1 January 1982, following Scottish Television's networked Hogmanay Show. The final closedown was marked by a brief tribute to ATV from original announcer Shaw Taylor before duty announcer Mike Prince signed off with the playing of the National Anthem (an organ recording made at St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham). The newly reformed company, Central Independent Television plc, began broadcasting with an extended promo at 9.25am that morning.
Central inherited the studios at ATV Centre, Birmingham and ATV Elstree along with land that ATV Midlands had purchased for their new Nottingham studio centre. Central also maintained control of ATV's news archive and regional programmes, along with programming already in production or being shown at the time of changeover and schools programming; the rest of the ATV archive was sold by ACC.
ACC later divested itself of the remainder of Central after the Australian investor Robert Holmes à Court staged a boardroom coup and forced Grade to cede control.ACC remained in control of ITC and Stoll-Moss Theatres until 1988 when The Bell Group, the owners of ITC were taken over by the Bond Corporation. Subsequently, the new owners started an asset-stripping programme at ITC. In November 1988, ITC Entertainment was bought by its management.
In January 1995, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment bought ITC for $156 million,with Grade returning as chairman for life, bringing him back into control of ITC until his death in 1998. Carlton Communications spent much of the 1980s and 1990s buying up the intellectual property of the former ACC, including the rights to the ATV logo and company name, the ATV news archive (via its purchase of Central) and finally in early January 1999, the company bought ITC's television and film library from PolyGram/Seagram for £91 million, which reunited the programme library of Associated Television and Central Television and doubled the stock of its library division Carlton International, by giving it a total of 15,000 hours of programming.
Granada plc merged with Carlton in 2002,and all of ATV's national archive programming has been taken into their ownership. The regional news archive from both ATV and Central, plus some regional programmes, are stored at the Media Archive for Central England at the University of Nottingham.
For most of its time on air, ATV's main production centre was based at Elstree, near Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, where the majority of ATV's earlier programming was produced and distributed. The Elstree studios were acquired by the company in May 1958 and gradually converted for television use - the first of four studios opened in November 1960.
Up until production began at Elstree, ATV's London operation used a number of other converted locations for production during its first decade on air, such as the Wood Green Empire, the Hackney Empire, the former Highbury Film Studios, and briefly, the New Cross Empire.
Playout and presentation for ATV London was based at a separate master control facility at Foley Street in Central London, which included two studios for continuity and smaller-scale programming, such as Police 5. Shortly after ATV ceased transmission in London, the Foley Street centre was also used to transmit a management-run national ITV service during the ITV technicians' strike of August 1968.
ATV's Midlands studios were originally based in Aston, Birmingham, jointly owned by ATV and ABC under the banner Alpha Television. They supplied both ATV and ABC, and supplemented production from Elstree. In readiness for colour television, a large 'state of the art' television studio was built by ATV, the ATV Centre off Broad Street near the centre of Birmingham. This replaced the Aston studios, which were sold. The ATV Centre was in use until 1997 although two of the production studios had been 'mothballed' in the early 1990s as demand for production studios fell. As of June 2014, the complex has been partially demolished to be replaced by the upcoming Arena Central development, with the main studio building off Bridge Street standing derelict, pending the commencement of further demolition work. The Alpha Tower remains as a listed building.
A documentary about the ATV Centre was released in 2011 by MACE (Media Archive for Central England).Entitled From ATVLand In Colour (referring to the nickname used on ATV's children's programme, Tiswas , and the building being purpose-built for colour broadcasting), the documentary features presenters, actors, announcers and behind-the-scenes staff talking about their time working there, and the programmes that were made there. Contributors include Chris Tarrant, Shaw Taylor, Jane Rossington and Bob Carolgees.
In the 1981 franchise review, the IBA ordered that for ATV Midlands to keep the franchise the Elstree centre must be sold and a studio centre built in the east of the region. ATV Midlands, renamed Central Independent Television, needed an immediate start for separate East and West Midlands facilities. The new east site was at Lenton Lane, Nottingham, and the land had been bought while ATV was still in control. Planning issues delayed construction so Central purchased an independent production studio in the city (at Giltbrook) as its East Midlands newsroom. Industrial action prevented this centre from being used, with the new studios ready by the time it was resolved.
In 1983 the Elstree centre was sold to the BBC for around £7 million, and is now home of the soap EastEnders .
East Midlands Television Centre in Nottingham began operation in September 1983but was officially opened by H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in March 1984. The studio was eventually sold in 2004 to the University of Nottingham as an independent facility and as the home of the Media Archive for Central England, where most of ATV's and Central's programmes are archived.
ATV's logo has always consisted of a shadowed eye, inspired supposedly by the logo of CBS. This shadowed eye with the letters ATV inside came to represent the company. The first ident featured a single eye shape, moving to reveal the shadowed eye, and animating so that each of the letters ATV animate in accompanied by one of the three musical notes on the ident score. The caption below read Associated TeleVision Ltd., the only time the station's full name was displayed in an ident. The shadowed eye however was out of proportion, attributed to the hurry to redraw the ident following the name change from ABC.
Shortly after the launch of the Midlands franchise, the ident was again changed to an ident consisting of five stripes. Three of four vertical stripes contain the letters ATV, which animate in to the same musical score, with the other vertical stripe housing the logo and the stations airing times, either displaying both or those of the region being viewed in. the final stripe is horizontal, with the caption 'Presents' inside.
The next ident, launched in 1959, featured the shadowed eye zooming into the screen, whilst the familiar letters animate in as in the previous versions. This was altered in 1964 to add either the region name below it, or the word 'Presents' if the programme was an outside broadcast.
The company's most recognisable ident, however, is the one launched in 1969. Called Zoom 2, it was the ident that heralded colour broadcasts to the region for the first time. Starting with three lightspots of red, blue and green that grow individually and combine to form six colours above the caption 'In Colour', the three lightspots fully merge forming a single cream dot which then animates out into the ATV shadowed eye, fully formed, in yellow, while the background dissolves from light grey to dark blue. The score for the ident featured four trumpets, four trombones, timpani and vibraphone in a twelve beat fanfare for the station, by Jack Parnell and arranged by Wally Stott. This ident was used from the introduction of colour in 1969 right until the ATV name ceased to be used in 1982.In addition to this, a variation was produced which only featured a white dot on a black background, growing and transforming into the white shadowed eye for programmes still being shown in black and white.
In 2015, ITV Broadcasting Ltd surrendered its rights to the ATV trademark and it was acquired by Associated Television Productions Ltd which has produced programming for the Made Television network of local television channels.
The company, ATV Network Limited, was re-established in 2006headed by former ATV cameraman, director and Head of Children's Drama Alan Coleman. It aims to promote and celebrate the legacy of Lew Grade's ATV, with a new logo, based on the 'litespots' of the 1970s. Noting it felt the iconic symbol was best left in the past. It produces the official Crossroads Fan Club website and Noele Gordon's official online presence.
The majority of ITC programmes were first broadcast by ATV and distributed in the UK by them. Similarly, ATV's productions were distributed by ITC outside of the UK, with most ATV idents replaced with those for ITC.
As a side note to ATV's television activities, the company also set up a music publishing division. This was known as ATV Music and existed initially to publish TV-related music, such as theme tunes, composed by its in-house composers. It was formed after ATV acquired a substantial share of Pye Records.This company was eventually split away from the parent company and went through numerous different owners as well as buying into other established music publishers including Northern Songs, which was the Beatles' publishing company. ATV Music eventually settled into the hands of Michael Jackson before being merged into Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
ITV, legally known as Channel 3, is a British free-to-air television network. It was launched in 1955 as Independent Television to provide competition to BBC Television. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3 to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4.
The Independent Television Authority (ITA) was an agency created by the Television Act 1954 to supervise the creation of "Independent Television" (ITV), the first commercial television network in the United Kingdom. The ITA existed from 1954 until 1972. It was responsible for determining the location, constructing, building, and operating the transmission stations used by the ITV network, as well as determining the franchise areas and awarding the franchises for each regional commercial broadcaster. The Authority began its operations on 4 August 1954, a mere four days after the Television Act received Royal Assent, under the Chairmanship of Sir Kenneth Clark. The Authority's first Director General, Sir Robert Fraser was appointed by Clark a month later on 14 September.
ABC Weekend TV was one of a number of commercial television companies established in the United Kingdom during the 1950s by cinema chain companies, in an attempt to safeguard their business by becoming involved with television, which was taking away their cinema audiences. In this case, the parent company was the Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC), which initially did not wish to become involved with the new broadcasting system, but was persuaded to do so by the Independent Television Authority (ITA) and the manager of its Pathé News subsidiary Howard Thomas, who became the new company's managing director.
Associated-Rediffusion, later Rediffusion, was the British ITV franchise holder for London and parts of the surrounding counties, on weekdays between 22 September 1955 and 29 July 1968. It was the first ITA franchisee to go on air.
ITV Central, previously known as Central Independent Television and Carlton Central, ITV1 for Central England and commonly referred to as simply Central, is the Independent Television franchisee for the Midlands. It was created following the restructuring of ATV and began broadcasting on 1 January 1982. The service is owned and operated by ITV plc under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited. Historically Central made a major contribution to the ITV network schedule- especially in entertainment and drama - but today its main responsibility is the regional news service.
Carlton Television was the ITV franchise holder for London and the surrounding counties from 9.25am every Monday to 5.15pm every Friday. The company is now managed with London Weekend Television as a single entity, but the two companies are still separately licensed. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc under the licensee of "ITV Broadcasting Limited". Carlton has been branded on air as "ITV1" since 28 October 2002, and as "ITV" since 14 January 2013. Carlton legally exists as Carlton Television Ltd., currently listed on Companies House as a privately owned company. As Carlton's name has no relation to its region, its on-screen identity has been completely removed. Other regions have kept their original company name as a region name and in their local news name.
Thames Television, commonly simplified to just Thames, was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding areas from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992. Thames Television broadcast from 9:25 Monday morning to 5:15 Friday afternoon at which time it would hand over to LWT. It continued as an independent production company until 2003.
London Weekend Television (LWT) was the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties at weekends, broadcasting from Fridays at 5.15 pm to Monday mornings at 6:00. From 1968 until 1992, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Thames Television, there was an on-screen handover to LWT on Friday nights. From 1993 to 2002, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Carlton Television, the transfer usually occurred invisibly during a commercial break, for Carlton and LWT shared studio and transmission facilities.
ITV Yorkshire, previously known as Yorkshire Television. and commonly referred to as just YTV, is the British television service provided by ITV Broadcasting Limited for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network. Until 1974, this was primarily the historic county of Yorkshire and parts of neighbouring counties served by the Emley Moor and Bilsdale transmitting station transmitters. Following a reorganisation in 1974 the transmission area was extended to include Lincolnshire, northwestern Norfolk and parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, served by the Belmont transmitter, but lost much of North Yorkshire served by the Bilsdale transmitter which covered Tyne Tees Television, with transmissions available as far south as Harrogate.
Lew Grade, Baron Grade, OStJ, KC*SS, born Lev Winogradsky, was a British media proprietor and impresario. Originally a dancer, and later a talent agent, Grade's interest in television production began in 1954 when, in partnership, he successfully bid for franchises in the newly created ITV network, which led to the creation of Associated Television (ATV). Having worked for a time in the United States, he was aware of the potential for the sale of television programming to American networks. The Incorporated Television Company was formed with this specific objective in mind. Grade had some success in this field with such series as Gerry Anderson's various Supermarionation series such as Thunderbirds, Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, and Jim Henson's The Muppet Show. Later, Grade invested in film production, but several expensive box office failures caused him to lose control of ITC, and ultimately resulted in the disestablishment of ATV after it lost its ITV franchise.
Television South West (TSW) was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from studios at Derry's Cross in Plymouth, Devon.
Norman Richard Collins was a British writer, and later a radio and television executive, who became one of the major figures behind the establishment of the Independent Television (ITV) network in the UK. This was the first organisation to break the BBC's broadcasting monopoly when it began transmitting in 1955.
The Incorporated Television Company (ITC), or ITC Entertainment as it was referred to in the United States, was a British company involved in production and distribution of television programmes.
The history of ITV, the United Kingdom "Independent Television" commercial network, goes back to 1955.
Alpha Television was a British limited company which operated television studios in Aston, Birmingham from 1956 to 1970.
BBC Elstree Centre, sometimes referred to as BBC Elstree Studios, is a television production facility, currently owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The complex is located on Eldon Avenue in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
In the 1960s and 1970s, an envisioned fourth UK television service was popularly referred to as ITV2, before the launch of Channel 4 in November 1982.
This is a timeline of the history of the British television network ITV.
This is a timeline of the history of Central Independent Television.
This is a timeline of the history of ATV
|Look up Licence to print money in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|