When Did Television Come to Australia?


Quick Answer

The first television broadcast in Australia was on September 16, 1956. The first words spoken on an Australian television broadcast came from Bruce Gyngell. He said, "Good evening and welcome to television."

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When Did Television Come to Australia?
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Full Answer

Even though television was introduced in America as early as 1928, with England following in 1936, it was not until after World War II that it appeared in Australia. In 1953, the Royal Commission was established to research and investigate how television would impact the country. Some items studied included how many national television stations could logically be established and general programming standards.

In 1955, the first broadcasting licenses were awarded to stations in Sydney and Melbourne. Test transmissions began in July of 1956, one of which was the Melbourne Olympic Games. By the end of that year, the Australian Broadcasting Company had expanded its radio broadcasts to include television as well.

Until the mid-1960s, most Australian television shows were simply rebroadcasts of popular radio shows. In fact, most television personalities were well-known radio personalities. When Channel 0 started in the 1960s, it offered more original content. By the time color television made its Australian debut in 1975, there was a much wider selection of shows. Australian dramas were very popular as well as a number of different local programming. By the 1980s, Australian programs had gone global, allowing for audiences overseas to enjoy Aussie shows.

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