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17-09-1956

Mainstream TV launches in Australia

Men Without Sets

While the rest of the world revelled in spinning pottery wheels and crooked game shows, Australia was in the doldrums. Despite frequent attempts to introduce and promote television to the country, various things got in the way. There were experimental broadcasts dating back to the 1920s, but it took the nation until this very day in 1956 to get its act together and broadcast mainstream television to many, many very bored Aussies.Much of the delay came from dithering over whether to have a state funded broadcaster (like we do in the UK) or a purely commercial model (like in the States). In the end it went for a bit of both with the  Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) getting government cash and commercial stations also introduced. And Australia needed to get its skates on when it came to the gogglebox. The Melbourne Summer Olympics were about to kick off and nobody wanted to wait several months to watch a grainy newsreel of the archery at the cinema. Thank fully, the Nine Network station in Sydney finally got the ball rolling with the words: 'Good evening, and welcome to television’. Which seems apt.