1st September 1962
Channel Television takes to the air
Jersey got its first local commercial TV station in 1962. Channel Television, which is headquartered in Jersey and has studios in Guernsey, produces regional output for the Channel Islands. It was one of the last broadcasters to remain independent of ITV.
Channel Television’s first night on the air began with a grand opening at 5pm. This was presided over by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, General Sir George Erskine, in the presence of the Director General of the Independent Television Authority and the Bailiffs of Jersey and Guernsey. This was followed, at 5.10pm, by The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene.
The station carried ITV output from its earliest days, courtesy of a microwave relay station that was built on Alderney. Through this it received a feed from Westward Television, which at that time was the franchisee for the British south-west. It later took output from TVS (Television South), and then Meridian as various regional licences changed hands on the mainland.
Initially, broadcasts were black and white, but colour came to the islands in 1976 when Channel became the network’s last station to convert. It soon caught up, and eventually overtook ITV’s other independent broadcasters and was the first to introduce electronic newsgathering tools to its newsroom.
However, it was one of the last independent stations to complete its transition to digital broadcasting. The islands analogue transmission signals were finally switched off on 17 November 2010. After that date, the 50,000 households within the region received Freeview for the first time.
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