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Wed 2nd Dec 2009Freeview HD starts broadcasting, with BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD.
Wed 30th Sep 2009National Freeview retune day.
Thu 27th Nov 2008All the BBC channels can now be watched online.
Thu 20th Nov 2008A little late to the party, FIVE launches on Freesat.
Thu 20th Nov 2008Selkirk (and its relays), becomes the first digital only main terrestrial tranmitter.
Thu 23rd Oct 2008Freesat+, the digital recorder for Freesat is launched.
Fri 10th Oct 2008Channel 4 pulls out of digital radio
Fri 19th Sep 2008Scots Gaelic channel BBC Alba starts broadcasting on satellite.
Fri 12th Sep 2008Sky cancels the Picnic project saving Sky News, Sky Three and Sky Sports News for Freeview viewers.
Sat 16th Aug 2008Freeview music channel The Hits becomes 4Music, under the Channel 4 umberella.
Wed 2nd Jul 2008Freeview's Network Information Table is split in two, invalidating some Freeview boxes.
Tue 1st Jul 2008Freeview HD starts test broadcasts from the Guildford transmitter.
Thu 12th Jun 2008BBC News 24 becomes just BBC News
Sat 7th Jun 2008ITV HD starts broadcasting.
Tue 6th May 2008The BBC and ITV launch Freesat.
Tue 25th Dec 2007BBC iPlayer leaves beta and is "hard launched"
Wed 14th Nov 2007Whitehaven switchover complete
Wed 17th Oct 2007Whitehaven begins the digital switchover process as BBC TWO is closed on analogue.
Wed 26th Sep 2007ABC-1 is pulled from Freeview and other platforms
Mon 20th Aug 2007Channel 4 starts the first timeshift of a terrestrial channel with Channel4+1
Wed 27th Jun 2007BBC iPlayer is launched as a beta test
Tue 8th May 2007NEWS 24 becomes the first BBC TV channel to go online.
Fri 27th Apr 2007BBC and ITV announced high definition Freesat service to launch Spring 2008
Wed 14th Mar 2007Michael Grade closes ITV Play.
Thu 25th Jan 2007MPs invesgiate quiz TV channels in the Houses of Parliament
Wed 15th Nov 2006Channel 4's quiz channel Quizcall is removed from Freeview
Sun 23rd Jul 2006Film4 relaunches as a free channel and gains a 4.3% share of viewing.
Mon 22nd May 2006Sky launch their satellite HDTV service
Thu 11th May 2006BBC launch their HDTV service on cable, satellite and Freeview (London only)
Wed 19th Apr 2006ITV Play starts as a full-time Freeview channel.
Sat 11th Mar 2006CITV, ITV's Children's Channel, starts broadcasting
Sat 17th Dec 2005Ofcom publishes the Digital Dividend Review - how the government can make money by selling off TV frequencies C31-40 and C63-68
Tue 1st Nov 2005ITV-4 starts
Mon 31st Oct 2005Sky Three starts
Wed 12th Oct 2005ITV and C4 join Freeview founders BBC, BSkyB and National Grid Transco.
Mon 10th Oct 2005More4 launches free-to-air on Freeview.
Wed 25th May 2005E4 relaunches as a free-to-air channel on Freeview.
Wed 27th Apr 2005ITV pays £134m for acquisition of a Freeview multiplex
Mon 1st Nov 2004ITV adds a third branded channel to Freeview
Thu 21st Oct 2004Sky relaunches the non-subscription satellite boxes for one-off payment of £150.
Tue 31st Aug 2004National Grid Transco buys Crown Castle International for £1,138m
Mon 29th Dec 2003The Office of Communications (Ofcom) becomes TV's super-regulator.
Sun 9th Feb 2003BBC THREE replaces Choice channel.
Wed 30th Oct 2002BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle International launch Freeview: a package of 30 free channels though and aerial with no contract.
Fri 5th Jul launched
Wed 1st May 2002ITV digital (see below) closed with huge losses.
Sat 2nd Mar 2002BBC FOUR replaces Knowledge channel.
Mon 11th Feb 2002BBC children's channels, cBeebies and CBBC start in BBC's digital daytime airtime.
Thu 27th Sep 2001Sky's analogue satellite service is closed.
Wed 11th Jul 2001ONdigital re-launched as ITVdigital.


Tue 1st Jun 1999BBC Knowledge launches.
Mon 7th Dec 1998ITV-2 launces.
Sun 15th Nov 1998ONdigital launches a 40 channel mixture of pay and free channels, using digital technology though a roof-top aerial.
Thu 1st Oct 1998Sky launches Sky Digital, now with hundreds of channels and the highest standard pictures using a compact dish. New technology makes pay-per-view films and entertainment a daily reality.
Wed 23rd Sep 1998BBC Choice, the first UK widescreen channel launches with BBC Parliament.
Sun 9th Nov 1997BBC launch their News 24 domestic news channel.
BBC News 24 graphic
Sat 1st Nov 1997Launch of uktv channels.
Sun 30th Mar 1997Flavour of the month, the Spice Girls, launch Channel 5.
Fri 16th Aug 1996Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) experimental transmissions start in the Birmingham area.
Tue 21st May 1996ITC begins public consultations on digital terrestrial TV.
Sun 17th Mar 1996Pay-per-view arrives in UK with Sky charging viewers to watch Bruno v Tyson world title boxing match.
Fri 27th Oct 1995Fifth terrestrial licence award to Channel 5 Broadcasting by the regulator, the Independent Television Commission ITC.
Thu 26th Jan 1995BBC launches 24-hour news station, BBC World for viewers outside the UK.
Wed 1st Sep 1993BSkyB launches its Multichannels package with encryption for non-premium channels, including UK Gold.
Fri 1st Jan 1993ITV (now officially "Channel 3") is reconfigured following the 1990 Broadcasting Act.
ITV 1993 franchise holders
Sun 1st Nov 1992Launch of UK Gold
BBC News 24 launch graphic
Mon 8th Apr 1991BSB's Power station closes, Sports Channel becomes Sky Sports, The Movie Channel joins Sky Movies on the Astra satellite.
Sun 2nd Dec 1990BSB's Now and Galaxy channels close. Replaced for BSB customers with Sky One, Sky News (weekdays) and Sky Arts (at weekends)
Fri 2nd Nov 1990Sky TV and BSB merger to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB).
Mon 30th Jul 1990Sky Channel renamed Sky One
Sun 25th Mar 1990Launch of the officially sanctioned British Satellite Broadcasting, BSB with their The Movie Channel, The Sports Channel, Galaxy, Power Station and Now.
BSB logos


Mon 6th Feb 1989Launch of Sky Television (Sky Channel, Sky News, Sky Movies and Eurosport)
Sky launch logos
Sun 11th Dec 1988Astra launch first "mass market" European TV satellite, and Sky Channel moves to Astra
Wed 8th Jun 1988Rupert Murdoch announces Sky Television.
Thu 11th Dec 1986The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) awards the contract for direct broadcast by satellite services to British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB).
Mon 30th Sep 1985CNN launches it's international service.
Mon 1st Jul 1985Home Secretary asks IBA to review prospects for commercial DBS
Sun 1st Jan 1984Fledgling company Satellite Television purchased by Murdoch and re-launched as Sky Channel. Watch by 10,000 UK cable viewers.
Tue 1st Feb 1983ITV breakfast television (tv-am) started
Mon 17th Jan 1983BBC starts UK breakfast television (Breakfast Time).
Tue 2nd Nov 1982Channel 4 begins broadcasting.
Mon 1st Nov 1982S4C begins broadcasting.
Sun 1st Jun 1980Cable Network News, CNN, starts broadcasting live news to the US.


Wed 5th Dec 1979Harold Wilson makes speech forecasting foreign cultural invasion
Mon 6th Aug 1979Strikes takes ITV off the air for nine weeks
Thu 23rd Sep 1976ITV and BBC commence teletext transmissions
Mon 8th Oct 1973Britain's first legal commercial radio station, London Broadcasting starts
Wed 19th Jan 1972Post Office control of broadcasting hours ended


Sat 15th Nov 1969BBC1 and ITV begin regular colour transmissions.
Sat 1st Jul 1967Regular colour transmissions begin on BBC2.
Fri 8th Oct 1965London Post Office Tower opened.
Sun 2nd May 1965First television transmission from USA using a geo-stationary satellite.
Mon 20th Apr 1964BBC2 opens on 625 lines.
Thu 16th Apr 1964First live television relay from Japan via Telstar satellite.
Fri 14th Sep 1962ITV network completed as last of first companies goes on air
Wed 11th Jul 1962First transatlantic satellite exchange via Telstar satellite at Goonhilly Downs Earth station in Cornwall.


Thu 22nd Sep 1955ITV starts broadcasting in the London area.
Fri 30th Jul 1954Television Act 1954, establishing commercial TV, receives Royal Assent.
Tue 2nd Jun 1953UK's first major outside broadcast, Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Sun 27th Aug 1950First live link from Europe (Calais) to UK


Fri 7th Jun 1946UK television service resumed.


Fri 1st Sep 1939Wartime close-down of television.
Wed 12th May 1937First ever outside broadcast for coronation of George VI along the processional route to Alexander Palace.
Thu 4th Feb 1937Baird system dropped
Mon 2nd Nov 1936BBC begins broadcasting from Alexandra Palace transmitter to the London area (Baird system and Marconi-EMI system on alternate weeks).


Wed 1st Apr 1925First public demonstrations of television by John Logie Baird from the first floor of Selfridges Store.