Happy birthday, television!

It was on 16 September 1956 that Bruce Gyngell uttered those words “Good evening, and welcome to television” at TCN-9.

We’ve come a long way in 55 years. Seven, ABC, TEN, SBS, Foxtel, Community TV, multichannels… the list goes on.

To celebrate 55 years of telly, I thought I would publish some of the comments from the recent Audience Inventory where people have praised the small screen and the plethora of content that is before us now.

It’s often easy to knock TV, especially when aided by internet anonymity, but I view those who seek out a blog such as mine and taking the time to engage in a discussion as being passionate about their television. Silence = apathy, a much bigger problem for all of us.

So here are some of the reasons why we just love telly:

– Overall we are very spoilt for choice really.

– Been watching it from its inception … well worth it most times!

– It’s great! 🙂

– i love tv

– Love it, so good, well done

– Aussie TV is going from strength to strength- we are starting to follow the US model and it is paying off!

– Love Aussie drama, especially Rush.

– Excellent

– Let’s keep producing good Australian drama, news and lifestyle programming.

– Happy with Free to Air tv – no need for pay tv

– Overall doing a good job

– ABC should keep strong in-house production – more funding needed.

– keep the channels coming.

– Travel a lot feel we have good range compared to other countries

– Have loved The Block and Dance Academy in the last year

– The standard of our television shows have never been better

– Loving multichannels

– Thank god for the ABC.


– Foxtel is so great, I love my HD channels and all channels are always on time.

– Loving the return of so many classic shows on the digital channels but would prefer more classic Australian shows to make a return.

– i love it so alls good, mostly

– Going Strong.

– More live tv shows at night

– Love the digital channels

– FTV has improved local drama content in reasons years, need more in way of Australian comedy on commercial channels.

– TV is a primary source of entertainment in our house and should be the best quality available for all ages.

– Television in Australia is good and I believe it is going in the right direction regarding program.

– Hooray for the public broadcasters. And kudos to Ten for treating its digital channels like they are actually separate channels, not just second tier feeds that exist to play promos for the main net.

– The digital channels have provided competition to pay tv. It has to continue to lift it’s game.

– Generally good especially now with 17 fta channels.

– Can be totally in love and totally dissappointed.

– I don’t care whether it’s the more expensive comedy of Kath & Kim or the cheaper comedy of Pizza, there has to be room for Australian comedy on the digital channels – the more the better.

– Pay TV is worth every cent for HD Sport on FoxSports and ESPN

– ABC versus the commercials. There’s no competition. Give me the ABC every time. I can definitely rely on it. So the government should fund it properly.

– Pretty much perfect besides froms show starting late.

– Fantastic to have the extra digital channels but would be great if there was more Australian content on them. During a recent trip to New Zealand, I realised how lucky Australians are with the diversity of channels and programs available, particularly in reghional ares

– I think Aussie Television has a lot of fresh ideas to share. I hope Aussie gov’t together with the Aussie TV and Film industry would come up with more ideas to spread Aussie media.

– hope they bring back Big Brother, and also Hey Hey Its Saturday , should be more light hearted shows.

– Sometimes good, sometimes bad but I can’t live without it 🙂

– Love!


  1. I can remember we used to rush home from school to watch geoff Corke present movies each day (during the testing time) Then 7 melb started first with a variety show
    Sunnyside up, The 1956 Melb olympics were shown on 7 & 9. the next year 1957 both 7 and nine telecasted the last quarter of a VFL (AFL) game every saturday afternoon. And TV wasn’t free we had to buy a licence from the post office (2 & 6pence) And the govt had trucks going around to check if poeple were receiving TV without a licence.

  2. @ Kenny there are many high quality local productions; Rush, Offspring, Rescue, Sea Patrol are all very popular and high rating local productions. Add to that all of Ch 10’s local drama productions in the last decade and a half and you have a full bag of high quality popular high rating and memorable local productions.

  3. @Secret Squirrel – “Jaded”, disillusioned – yes, afraid so. Since helping put NEN9 on air in 1965 then moving to two Sydney channels then to WIN4, at age 67 I see a total loss of localism by regionals, as well as cities outside Sydney & Melb., total decline in quality of local productions, and as you say “TV has now reached the age of early retirement.” (like me).
    @TV Scene – commercial TV is not “free”. It’s paid for by advertising products & services. The cost of that advertising is factored into the cost of those products & services you buy, so ultimately you are paying for “free” TV.

  4. @Mire de Test
    Beautifully said. I share your situation, demographic & conclusions.
    But I don’t think TV execs care one jot what we think. It’s all about wringing blood from a stone, and when the stone is dry they’ll thow it away and David will have to start his “Internet Tonight” Blog.

  5. @Kenny – that’s a very jaded perspective… and I completely agree.

    TV has now reached the age of early retirement. I think the networks have got until about the age of mandatory retirement before becoming terminally ill, unless they start noticing that the world is changing rapidly and start adapting instead of grimly hanging on to outdated paradigms.

    Evolve or become extinct.

  6. Ah we’ve come a long way haven’t we. From “Brian Told Me” to Nine faking news,.
    From IMT to Good News World
    From locally-produced daytime quiz, panel, game and drama to advertorials and endless funeral insurance commercials.
    From max 12 mins per hour commercial time to “whatever you like guys”.
    From the Broadcasting Control Board which actually put TVT6 off the air for 24 hrs as a punishment to ACMA.
    From programs starting on time to “whenever you like guys”.
    From quality local productions to product-placement unreal “reality” shows.
    From local regional news and programs to networked fodder.
    From locally-produced music programs like Bandstand, Saturday Date, Young Talent Time, Brian and the Juniors, to “one shot at fame wannabes” on X-Factor and AGT.
    I could go on but the wife wants to start ep. 276 of her Prisoner DVDs.

  7. Broadcast TV? As much as it pains me to say it, it’s already dead or dying.

    I was thinking today and realised that, beyond a few favourite shows, I rarely stop and think “what’s on tonight?”, or even “let’s see what’s on”. That’s been replaced by “let’s have a look at [favourite torrent site] and see what there is to watch” – and less than 30 minutes later, I can be watching it.

    Why do I do this? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons, and they’re pretty much all well documented in the survey results from the last few days. Essentially, they boil down to “stations can’t even do the most basic function expected – play the advertised programme at the advertised time to a consistent schedule – anymore”, and “now that I’ve heard about some interesting programme, I’m buggered if I’ll wait months to see if you bother to buy it and show it”.

    I’m in my mid 40’s. I have quite a few friends in their early-mid 20’s, educated and technical people, who still wait for stuff to turn up on TV, chase it around the schedule, and bitch when they lose the last 15 minutes because it started 20 minutes late, or miss it completely because it was bumped to 1am at the last minute. Maybe I’m just an outlier. Maybe it’s because I remember what TV used to be like – not some rose-tinted view of “quality”, but that stuff was on when it said it was going to be on, seasons were completed, and you never heard about potentially interesting new shows months before they were scheduled – and I’m annoyed by the games they play with programming now.

    But if I was a TV exec, I’d be less worried about how younger allegedly tech-savvy viewers will act in the future, and more worried about how disillusioned people like me in their prime demographics are behaving right now…

  8. Test broadcasts started on 13 July 1956. The 14 July 1956 issue of the then Frank Packer owned The Daily Telegraph had exstensive coverage on the front page and inside. The Tele’s coverage of the official launch two months later was even more extensive.

  9. It’s time for FTA television as it was once know to retire or evolve. A revolution is slowly taking place (as it did in the music industry). And it’s not just about switching from analog to digital.

  10. I think the golden era of good television and movies is well and truly over. Now all the shows are all about showing off, big noting themselves and being marketable, rather than actually providing good entertainment which was the original premise. I can only see it get worse and worse as people turn to other forms of entertainment.

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