Just before the start of Independent Television
in the UK, a franchise
round was held to decide who would run which region.
There were two main contenders in the round, one of which was the Associated Broadcasting Development Company
. They were originally a pressure group
for the introduction of commercial television into Britain, and had won the Midlands
weekday franchise, but were lacking in talent. To this end, they approached the other contender, The Independent Television Company
and formed the Associated Broadcasting Company
. They went on air with that name on the 25 May 1955 in London, later on in the decade in the Midlands. Their logo was an instant design classic-two eyes, intersecting, with the letters A T V in the gaps. A search for ATV on Google
Images will get you a picture of the logo, which was reported to represent CBS
TV in the US being "shadowed" by ATV in Britain (ATV execs went to see CBS to gain experience before the company's launch).
disputed the ABDC/ITC ABC name and so pursued this in the courts-they won and so the Associated Broadcasting Company became Associated TeleVision
. The two companies had many scuffles over the next few years, and eventually they decided to share studio facilities in Birmingham
for the Midlands region. These were owned by a new company, Alpha Television
, so named for obvious reasons.
In the 1967
franchise round, ATV plumped for the Midlands
region, 7 days a week (this was where they stayed until the company's demise in 1982) rather than London weekend. Lew Grade
, the company's flamboyant cigar-chomping boss, was reportedly very unhappy with this decision, yet was later told he would have had no chance at London weekend
In the 1981 franchise round, the IBA
split up the Midlands region into a dual region
(same contractor, but different services for the east and west of the Midlands). ATV Midlands sailed through the round, but was forced to divulge 49% of its shares to local interests and get itself a more local name. Thus, Central Independent Television